On eight acres just outside Kigali, Rwanda, Hope Haven School teaches 810 students from nursery to secondary levels. Now fully operational and considering expansion, the school designed by Libby Haslam and Jesse Allen in 2012, features a 38,000 square foot campus of classrooms, library, kitchen, dining and dormitories, and is unlike any of the other schools in Utah designed by GSBS architects.
What it does have in common with other GSBS educational projects is the unique design in context with the schools' objectives, the environment and landscape. “Yes, there are universal educational goals, but we do not create 'cookie cutter' solutions to the schools we design,” says Allen. The firm's methods of working with administrators, faculty, the community, parents and students results in schools which are architecturally exciting and meet today's educational challenges.
In Rwanda, Hope Haven's first 'Primary 6' class took the national examinations in November and all children scored in the top 3% of the scores in the country. In the words of Susan Hollem, founder and president of Hope Haven, “The facility is gorgeous and the kids are learning so much.” She added: “I want to thank you again for the incredible look and design you came up with. It truly is the most beautiful educational facility in the Country of Rwanda!”