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"Rome was not built in a day", a reminder that the European cities we look up to have undergone layers upon layers of urban growth, development, regeneration, uplifts, remodeling, and bold decisions by certain historical figures to alter or preserve them. The majority of these cities have undergone several architectural periods in the European architectural specific periods, from the medieval to high renaissance and beyond. They have had to enjoy the advantage of time and age. From the Italian cities to the French Capital's Champs-Élysées and many more European Cities.

Kigali is relatively a very young city. Luckily enough, the Kigali Masterplan and the vision set for the city are quite remarkable, to say the least giving a breath of life into the future prospects of the city and its growth and planning. It is a nudge in the right direction unlike other African cities with outdated and obsolete masterplans still set by the colonial powers with their growth periods already expired. We might not see the unique Afrocentric character of Kigali being set in the present, but we can all agree that an extraordinary Afro-futurist city is developing right in front of our eyes.
 

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Prototype of an affordable green building in a slum area

Nyarugenge | Prototype 1 | ??

We are very excited to share a project we’ve been working on in Kigali, Rwanda. This two-storey prototype is the first step to a larger, socially and environmentally sustainable development. Located in the informal neighbourhood of Rwezamenyo, the project carefully integrates the existing social fabric, is a catalyst for economic activity, and is aiming for the Living Building Challenge standard.


 

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I live in Europe, we may have different standards and expectations...
To me these projects are relatively comparable to what we can find here in term of functional and formal approach.

Appearance is not equal to sustainability...
You demolish buildings that need to be demolished not the ones that bother your esthetic sensibility a little bit much...

I also don't expect universities to generate that kind of tourism...

In France we have many visually terrible public buildings that went through maintenance and also visual refurbishment, many of our universities are ugly, but at least they produce a sizeable amount of brains... Because that's the purpose of these buildings in the first place... Let's not forget that...

Rwanda seems to be aiming at sustainability and local sourcing construction materials which I find great.

If you contextualize all of this, these architectural projects are more than decent... Imo

I agree that the tower renders are not terrible, but won't be surprised if this building turns out to be way better.
Sometimes renders undersell projects, I use my imagination to compensate the bad quality of visuals...

I'm wondering what good architecture is to you however.
I don't think you understood meet well. I have nothing against those buildings. I'm simply saying it's better to build something you will use for long than something you 'may" have to break down one day.

My point can be likened to what is happening with the roads in the central business district now.
The roads have been broken to give way for restructuring, right?
My point is, thesame thing may happen with some of the buildings under construction if their architecture is mediocre.
Speaking about money, its actually more costly to build, demolish and rebuild as they are doing with the roads.
 

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"Rome was not built in a day", a reminder that the European cities we look up to have undergone layers upon layers of urban growth, development, regeneration, uplifts, remodeling, and bold decisions by certain historical figures to alter or preserve them. The majority of these cities have undergone several architectural periods in the European architectural specific periods, from the medieval to high renaissance and beyond. They have had to enjoy the advantage of time and age. From the Italian cities to the French Capital's Champs-Élysées and many more European Cities.

Kigali is relatively a very young city. Luckily enough, the Kigali Masterplan and the vision set for the city are quite remarkable, to say the least giving a breath of life into the future prospects of the city and its growth and planning. It is a nudge in the right direction unlike other African cities with outdated and obsolete masterplans still set by the colonial powers with their growth periods already expired. We might not see the unique Afrocentric character of Kigali being set in the present, but we can all agree that an extraordinary Afro-futurist city is developing right in front of our eyes.
I agree. Kigali has made remarkable progress over the past 20years.

I'm glad the first master plan was ditched. They should choose a different city which can be covered in skyscrapers, but Kigali, I pray they continue with how they are building Kigali; Not very tall buildings, green environment, mixed use buildings etc. Jusr simple, clean, green and quiet.
 

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Skyscrapers have their place in every modern city, (especially in the so-called Singapore of Africa) they just have to be done right. Not as fenced off Islands like in Dubai, but integrated into the city with ground level attractions and walkability.

I like how European cities do it with a Skyscraper district in one part of the city, la defense in Paris for example, while other parts of the city make use of vertical space.
 

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Skyscrapers have their place in every modern city, (especially in the so-called Singapore of Africa) they just have to be done right. Not as fenced-off Islands as in Dubai, but integrated into the city with ground-level attractions and walkability.

I like how European cities do it with a Skyscraper district in one part of the city, la defense in Paris for example, while other parts of the city make use of vertical space.
Well said. The integration of the skyscrapers and the natural growth of the city should be seamless and has to feel as organic as possible. The Dubai disconnect is nauseating to a degree where a sharp distinction and discontinuity are visibly seen. Human scale and their integral part in a city are what makes or breaks a city. New York is a good example of how the skyscrapers are considerate to the human street scale and interractions.
 

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Well said. The integration of the skyscrapers and the natural growth of the city should be seamless and has to feel as organic as possible. The Dubai disconnect is nauseating to a degree where a sharp distinction and discontinuity are visibly seen. Human scale and their integral part in a city are what makes or breaks a city. New York is a good example of how the skyscrapers are considerate to the human street scale and interractions.
I think your description fits with the first master plan.
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Personally, I love the second one. It emphasizes on mixed use green buildings. I don't even see any skyscrapers there.

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Well said. The integration of the skyscrapers and the natural growth of the city should be seamless and has to feel as organic as possible. The Dubai disconnect is nauseating to a degree where a sharp distinction and discontinuity are visibly seen. Human scale and their integral part in a city are what makes or breaks a city. New York is a good example of how the skyscrapers are considerate to the human street scale and interractions.
Bingo, especially Times Square. It's so pleasant to walk around there because it is the perfect combination of vertical space (the skyscrapers) and horizontal walkability with all the ground level restaurants, etc. Would be a dream to see something like that in Kigali.
 

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I think your description fits with the first master plan.
View attachment 1368752 View attachment 1368756


Personally, I love the second one. It emphasizes on mixed use green buildings. I don't even see any skyscrapers there.

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The city should definitely be taller than the second picture by 2050. Rwanda has a population of 12.5 million, most of whom are subsistence farmers. But when the economy improves, these people will eventually start flooding into Kigali, creating urban sprawl if the city doesn't build taller. An atavistic hatred of tall buildings is a luxury Kigali probably can't afford, given its geographic situation.
Remember, Europe can maintain its relatively low-rise city centers because they push high density buildings to the outskirts of the city, while the United States has basically limitless land to waste on single family homes. The challenge of Kigali's masterplan will to incorporate skyscrapers into a beautiful and walkable city environment.
 

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I remember one time I estimated from demographic projections that Rwanda could be as dense as NYC metro area by the end of the century. But I dont know if these productions still apply.

However Rwanda will remain one of the most densely populated nations of Africa.
Compact cities will clearly be needed at some point. Many European cities managed to maintain high density levels in low rises (see Barcelona and Paris) but the problematic part is that these low rises appartements are very small... The pressure on these old buildings is high.

I feel like New York has sort of the same problem. They did not built the necessary programs, and a huge part of the island is a gap of older lower rises buildings where I suppose appartements may be quite small ... Seeing NY prices this is my hypothesis...

On the other hand Singapore has chosen to build more high rises and many are well kept social housing programs accessible to the greater number. It may feel less attractive and vibrant than NYC... But it generates less misery I suppose...

About la défense by the way, interresting project, very walkable since cars and pedestrians are separated by "la dalle", huge transport hub, but like canary wharf LD is mostly composed of offices towers.
 
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