Modern and sustainable housing for healthcare workers in Burundi

Architect Louise Braverman designed solar-powered housing for healthcare workers in the remote Burundian village of Kigutu.

The Village Health Works Staff Housing is an 18-bed dormitory for healthcare workers in the remote Kigutu village in Burundi. The village was designed by New York-based Louise Braverman Architects and is powered entirely by solar and was built with local materials and labour. The building has a self-sufficient power supply because the village has no electricity connection. 

The colourful off-grid staff housing is constructed from locally produced bricks and concrete framing. The dormitory combines East African building vernacular and aesthetics with innovative off-grid strategies.

The Village Works Staff Housing is built to accommodate 18 healthcare workers in the remote village. The village is embedded into a hillside to take advantage of he earth’s natural insulation. Oversized, colourful public porch doors open up to let breezes through and reveal mountain views. The oversized public porch doors also seamlessly connect the inside and the out.

The village has shared dining, cooking, and living areas, which are accessed through large steel-framed Eucalyptus sliding doors and encourage the Kigutu outdoor culture. Cisterns capture rainwater to irrigate the land.

Braverman hopes the building will become a model for sustainable development in the region. "Sustainability is not an added benefit in Kigutu. It is a necessity," she said.