Located on a hillside in rural Rwinkwavu, Rwanda, the Share Houses provide 6,900 square feet of temporary housing for medical professionals from Partners In Health (PIH) and Rwanda’s Ministry of Health. Employees of the nonprofit organization and government agency live in the Share Houses for up to one year as they perform contract work at Rwinkwavu Hospital or attend the hospital’s adjacent training facility. The communal accommodations are divided into a pair of single-story dormitories. In each, eight bedrooms are arranged around a multi-tiered common space shared by the healthcare staff.
Bedrooms open to private exterior spaces that boast western views to the Vallée Kibaya. Woven eucalyptus screens, a nod to the thatching materials of traditional Rwandan architecture, both shade and provide privacy for balconies and exterior corridors.
The Share Houses’ use of regional building materials represents both an aspirational approach to sustainability and a pragmatic response to the client‘s budget. Key material sources include bricks handmade by a nearby women’s cooperative, locally quarried stone, hand-woven eucalyptus, and the clay tiles that form the project’s ventilated roof cavity. Local Rwinkwavu residents performed approximately 90 percent of labor, and women represented at least one-third of hires throughout construction. Sharon Davis Design conceived and executed the project as a design/build partnership with Rwanda Village Enterprises.