Rugarama Park Estate

Kigali, RW

What does it take to realise affordable housing in Rwanda?


Rugarama Park Estate

On the south side of the Rwandan capital, Kigali, developer Remote Group is building a new residential area on a 25-hectare site. The 2,000 homes are intended to be affordable for the average Rwandan, with prices from $14,000 to $38,000. It’s a unique project, because it is the first time that housing is being developed here on a large, project-based, scale in this price segment. Many projects in Eastern Africa do start with this ambition, but end up being much more expensive.

The residential streets will be given a green design.

Collective spaces stimulate the social life of the neighbourhood.

A terraced landscape was chosen for adequate water drainage in the rainy season.

A new and unique housing type for Rwanda

De Zwarte Hond drew up the urban plan for the district, complete with public space and a commercial centre, and also designed the façades of the buildings. These are realised in autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), a lightweight, durable and affordable building material. To this end, a complete second-hand plant for making aerated concrete blocks was shipped from Latvia to the construction site.

Rugarama Park Estate

Rwanda has a rapidly growing population and, due to migration to the capital, Kigali, the city increasingly needs affordable housing. Project development is rare in the country. When it happens, it results in housing that is too expensive and high-rise buildings that do not suit a culture that prizes outdoor living. The high prices are caused by project developers’ high development costs and profits, but also because building materials are virtually unavailable and have to be imported. When developer Remote Group wanted to build a residential area of 2,000 homes in Kigali, they shipped a complete (second-hand) factory from Latvia for the production of ‘aircrete’ (aerated concrete) blocks. For an urban plan and the design of the façades, they turned to De Zwarte Hond. The new district comprises a mix of apartments and ground-floor homes, in a maximum of three layers. Due to the height differences of the location, the design pays a lot of attention to adequate water drainage during the rainy season, resulting in a terraced landscape. The neighbourhood will also have a shopping centre, built from the 74 containers used to transport the concrete factory.


Rugarama Park Estate
Kigali, RW
Remote Group
Architecture, Urban Design
Development Phase
Animatie: Dutch Tilt Studios
More info