• New Rugo Social Housing / George Pericles Architects

Architects: George Pericles Architects  
Location: Rugo,  Burundi
Project Team: G.Sardin, F.Gwiza, V.Iyakaremeye.
Project Year: 2014
Photographer: George Pericles Architects

Affordable housings in the Africa are, most of the time, just seen as a quantity issues. Most of the buildings are done as a necessity and not much thought is put into their design. Not so for the New Rugo social housing which is quantitave and qualitative in approach. It combines the tenents of traditional design and the modern parameters to achieve social housing concepts that cut across the low income to middle income markets.

New Rugo Social Housing / George Pericles Architects

The Rugo is the traditional Burundi & Rwandan houses and is the backbone for the New Rugo project. New Rugo is majorly a low-cost housing project located in Burundi that draws its inspiration from vernacular solutions, mainly the Rugo. It’s viewed to be an easily acceptable project in the localities as it respects its contexts and values of the locals.  The project merges the values of pre-colonial (community, adaptability) and modern typology. It’s a small scale project as a unit but grows exponential as would have been the case in any African village. 

New Rugo Social Housing / George Pericles Architects

The architect of the project, George Pericles, believes that planning has to respond to current needs, but also to be relevant for a wealthier and more developed Africa. That’s why affordable housing for the low income group has to be able to evolve as comfort standards evolve.

New Rugo Social Housing / George Pericles Architects

By merging the two typologies, the two structures, the architects designed a new one.. The New Rugo is evolutive, allowing changes as Burundi & Rwandan societies evolve. It is a dynamic layout yet easy to understand.  It is a typology, easily replicable, environmentally aware. With low cost technologies and cultural appropriateness, the developed housing is aimed at empowering fragile communities in Burundi and in Rwanda.

New Rugo Social Housing / George Pericles Architects

The project uses half the size of planned villages in Rwanda for a price per square meter 50 % cheaper than traditional construction methods. 

New Rugo is more than just housing it is a new way to create villages. It’s meant to be the evolved African village. Respectful of the past, aware of the present and adaptable to the future.

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