Two new “Share Houses” designed by New York City-based designer Sharon Davis Design in partnership with Rwanda Village Enterprise for Partners in Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health have opened in rural Rwinkwayu, Rwanda. The two structures, each of which houses eight doctors and nurses and is located immediately adjacent to the 110-bed Rwinkwayu Hospital, allows medical staff to live closer to the population they serve, thus improving the delivery of healthcare services in the remote village. The design of the buildings are informed by their hillside location and the hot, dry climate of the region.
Each bedroom has its own private exterior space oriented to views of the valley to the west with large overhangs for rain and heat protection. The bedrooms are connected to shared bathrooms and common spaces by a covered and screened walkway made of eucalyptus that provides a sense of enclosure and privacy for the residents. The buildings were built on a tight budget and with the goal of boosting the local economy. Most of the materials were sourced from the neighbouring area and the structures were built with local labour, approximately 90% of which is from the poor and rural village of Rwinkwayu.
Sharon Davis, the founder of Sharon Davis Design, whose firm also designed the Women’s Opportunity Center in Kayonzo, Rwanda and is working on a third project in Rwanda, describes the project as “more than a dormitory for doctors and nurses, this project meant that staff not only lives closer to the hospital - saving time and money- but quality housing near the hospital will boost morale and enhance connections between staff and community and will, we hope, create village within this village.”