1. Recognition

    ​​​​​​​​​JetSetter awards ​​​​​​​​​ The Retreat by ASA as Best Game Changer Hotel in 2019
  2. News

    the social enterprise asareacts. is born! stay tuned to see the exiting project we are starting with the Rwandan Ministry of Health


Active Social Architecture

ASA, short for Active Social Architecture, represents the founders’ and partners' belief and commitment to the social value of architecture. The young practice, based in Kigali, Rwanda, established by two European architects and scholars, Tomà Berlanda and Nerea Amorós Elorduy, is the first step of a collaborative network aimed at bringing together a multidisciplinary team across different fields and continents. ASA works in close collaboration with all of them to achieve quality and excellence in architecture and design, concentrating on elements that improve people's livelihoods, strengthen and empower communities and their sense of identity. Among our clients are organizations such as local and international NGO's, social enterprises, UN agencies focused on both local and global communities.

Projects and built works reflect ASA's belief in the richness and complexity of schemes drawn from, and responding to, the specificities of sites, programs and users bringing innovation through spatial composition, and the adaptive use of local materials and techniques. Architecture is understood as a creative means to problem solving, providing cost effective solutions that are attractive, affordable and improve upon the existing environment.

Design is approached in a holistic manner and seeks to add value to community-based projects both in Rwanda and abroad. In order to have a strongbase developed, each and every project is rooted on a research by design, based in findings that come up from the same communities, the vernacular architecture and an intense research of precedents and context. The ensuing process is a constant interaction of stakeholders’ participation, architectural practice and research.   

Each member of ASA is dedicated to the approach that design is a tool to empower communities and lead to a stronger, prosperous and sustainable future for Rwanda. To us, the measure of success of our designs comes in their benefit to their primary users, as well as their value to the whole community and impact on the surrounding context as a means to empower, enrich and enhance lives. Good design balances originality and beauty with sustainability, durability and functionality.
Research, both within academia and on-going on-site contextual and social research, is the base for our projects development. The founding partners' trajectory of scholarly work has allowed ASA to test ideas with diverse clients, communities and with students in different settings and conditions. In the realm of academia, the founders and most of the members work have with the young Department of Architecture at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, now part of the University of Rwanda, is a further testament of the firm's mission in the potential of empowerment in education through architecture. Their engagement in the development of innovative and socially responsible solutions for the wider possible number of individuals reinforces the belief that architecture is a right of everyone.
Zeno Riondato | Principal
Francesco Stassi | Principal
Alice Tasca | Principal
Initially as a fellow (2012) and now as co-owner (2014), he has been involved in most of ASA's projects. He believes in a practice rooted in a continuous research and hands-on field work that understands the relationship between processes and context and engages with the society. He holds a Master's degree in Architecture and Construction from IUAV, Venice. He taught at the UR for 4 years.
He holds a Master’s degree in Architecture and Construction from the Politecnico di Torino (2008). Between 2009 and 2011 he lived in Spain and Mexico where he undertook the investigation for his final thesis, that focused on traditional architecture, local construction techniques and robust technologies. He believes in Architecture as an essential instrument of social improvement.
After her Master's degree in Sustainable Architecture (IUAV, 2011) she moved to Rwanda to teach at the School of Architecture, University of Rwanda.  Alice coordinates the Third Year design studio. She's highly committed to the social and environmentally responsably design aspects Asa pursues, topics of her ongoing research. She purchased ASA in 2014 after being a fellow designer for one year.
Christian Karagire | Architect
Eric Mutabazi | Design Fellow
He completed his studies at the University of Rwanda in 2016, and is among the first locally trained architects. He won two awards for his outstanding design projects and Student of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He is interested in improving local building materials use, promoting their use and the public perception of them. He joined ASA in 2016 and he is now involved in design projects that contribute to the communities empowerment.
Eric holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Rwanda (2016) and was part of the design team of the first public street in Kigali, “Imbuga city walk”. He joined ASA in May 2018 as a design fellow. He has experience in site assessment, architectural design, site supervision, and project management. Eric acquired deep knowledge of research-based sustainable design and local construction systems. He believes low-income communities have the right to better architecture.
Silvia Celorrio | Architect
Secil Taskoparan | Architect
Joanna Nsenga | Design Fellow
She conducted her studies in Lugano and Saragossa, where she got her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In 2016, she traveled to Ethiopia to carry out her final thesis in vernacular architecture and local techniques.. Her professional career is based on the balance between rural and urban areas to improve social equality. In this context, Rwanda is for her an interesting field of research and practice.
She obtained a Bachelors of Architecture from Istanbul Technical University in 2012. She spent her Junior year studying at Politecnico di Milano as an exchange student. In 2014, she graduated from the Master of Science in Architecture program at the University of Michigan in concentration with Digital Technologies where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar. She moved to Rwanda in 2015 and worked for several architecture practices.
Joanna pursued her Bachelor's in Architecture at the California Baptist University (2017), and was formerly known as the Vice President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) of the institution's chapter. She joined ASA as a design fellow upon returning to Rwanda, to further expand her knowledge in architecture. She is passionate about design that contributes and enhances the livelihood of our society.
Barcelona trained architect, she holds a Master's in International Cooperation and Sustainable Emergency Architecture from UIC (2011). Co-Founding ASA she aimed to provide a collaborative scenario to improve the quality of the educational and health facilities in Rwanda through community based designs. She interned at UNICEF Rwanda (2011) to develop an innovative design approach for ECD centers. Nerea taught at University of Rwandafor 4 years. She is now pursuing her PhD at the Bartlett School of the Built environment at the University college of London. 
Nerea Amòros Elorduy | Co-founder
Tomà Berlanda | Co-founder
Barcelona trained architect, she worked in Ethiopia, consulted for UNHCR, UNICEF and other international NGOs in Rwanda and taught at the School of Architecture at the University of Rwanda before co-Founding ASA Studio. With ASA she aimed to provide a collaborative scenario to improve the quality of the educational and health facilities in Rwanda and the region through innovative community based designs and a holistic approach to architecture.  She is now pursuing her PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture at the UCL, on the role of architecture in long-term encampment of refugees in the region.

Dipl. Arch., Ph.D. Italian architect and scholar with extensive international academic and professional experience. As of April 2015, he serves as Professor of Architecture, and Director of the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics at the University of Cape Town. This follows on his position with ASA, where he was involved in broadening the scope of architecture and design in improving livelihoods and addressing inequality, as part of a larger engagement with the epistemic role of the discipline in Africa. He has held teaching positions at various institutions, and is the author of numerous publications. 
Past Fellows & Interns
Tamara Mpisaunga (ZIMBABWE) intern 2019 // Mathias Uwamahoro (RWANDA) intern 2019 // Robert Nishimwe (RWANDA) intern 2019 // Silvia Celorrio (SPAIN) intern 2019 // Jules Iradukunda (RWANDA) intern 2018-19 // Marius Igitangaza (RWANDA) intern 2018 // Joselyne Uwineza (RWANDA) intern 2018 // Giacomo Zambon (ITALY) intern 2018 // Anais Blanchard (FRANCE) intern 2018 // Anne Rakel Almaas (NORWAY) intern 2018 // Alex Haines (ENGLAND) intern, 2018 // Rebecca Plumbley (SOUTH AFRICA) intern, 2018 // Michelle Hagenauer (GERMANY) intern, 2017 // Maria Joao (PORTUGAL) intern, 2017 // Mary Ishimwe (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Eric Musabimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Francisco Susmel (ARGENTINA) - Intern, 2017 // Patrick Kubwimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Francis Kwihangana Kibet (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Bienvenu Ntampaka (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017  // Prince Kamana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2017 // Elisa Tangheroni (ITALY) - Intern, 2017 // Jaime Velasco Perez (SPAIN) - Design Fellow & Project Manager, 2015/17 // Amal Dirie (CANADA) - Intern, 2017 // Jeanne Urtizverea (FRANCE) - Intern, 2017 // Anne Kauffmann (GERMANY) - Intern, 2016-17 // Margot Guillaume (FRANCE) - Intern, 2016 // Ping-chun Huang (TAIWAN) - Intern, 2016 // Esperance Izerimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2016 // Prince Kamana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2016 // Simon Wallington (SOUTH AFRICA) - Intern, 2016 // Martina Ruini (ITALY) - Design Fellow, 2015-2016 // Maria Siöström (SWEDEN) - Intern, 2016 // Taylor Starbird (USA) - Intern, 2016 // Marina Pérez Primo (SPAIN) - Intern, 2016 // Seçil Taşkoparan (TURKEY) - Intern, 2015 // Michael Gozo (UK) - Intern, 2015 // Angelo Mbonimpa (RWANDA) - Intern, 2015-16 // Disa Reutersward (SWEDEN) - Intern, 2015 // Laura Targarona (SPAIN) - Design Fellow, 2014 // Michelle Stadelman (USA) - Architect and Project Manager 2013/14 - Consultant 2015/16 // Kartini Kasmuri (MALAYSIA)- Intern, 2014 // Alyssa Juday (USA) - Intern, 2014 // Jaques Murama (RWANDA) - Design Fellow 2013/14 // Kimberly Pelkosky (USA) - Intern, 2013 // Emmanuel Nyirinkindi (RWANDA) - Intern, 2013 // Emmanuel Havugimana (RWANDA) - Intern, 2012 // Aaron Gensler (USA) - Intern, 2012 //


  1. December 2018 /// ASA awarded honorable mention
    December 2018 /// ASA awarded honorable mention
    ASA's project Ground React-ivator is awarded the Laka honorable mention
  2. September 2018 /// ASA collaborates with Women for Women International
    September 2018 /// ASA collaborates with Women for Women International
    ASA studio and Women for Women International Rwanda collaborate in the project Women @ Work - Africa
  3. February 27-28 // ASA presents at CRDF in Kampala
    February 27-28 // ASA presents at CRDF in Kampala
    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ASA presents at the Climate Responsive Design Forum in Kampala organized by the Ministry of Education – Construction Management Unit and Enabel Infrastructure Unit in Uganda on February 27-28
  4. March 28 2018 // ASA presents at  the ArchiLounge in Brescia
    March 28 2018 // ASA presents at the ArchiLounge in Brescia
    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ASA presents at the ArchiLounge event on March 28th in Brescia, Italy
  5. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​March 11 2018 // ASA presents at the International Forum for Cultural Spaces in Kigali
    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​March 11 2018 // ASA presents at the International Forum for Cultural Spaces in Kigali
    ASA presents at the Workshop of Adaptive Reuse in Kigali on March 11th prior the International Forum for Cultural Spaces in Kigali on March 15-16
  6. Design That Educates Award 2019
    Design That Educates Award 2019
    ​​​​​​​​​​ASA receives Honorable Mention at Design That Educates Award 2019


ASA Design Ltd works to enhance quality architecture and design delivery in Rwanda, with a focus on social, educational, health and civic projects. We provide hands-on technical and design services to UN agencies, small and medium NGOs, governmental institutions and private clients in order to improve quality of architecture and ensuring long-term sustainability. ASA has an important focus in applied research and therefore all its projects have a high content of it in their design development and their implementation.

We are continuously looking for highly committed and talented professionals to join our office in Kigali and students willing to participate to our internship program. For our "Current Openings", please see the offers listed in this webpage.

The subject of your email should describe the title of the position you apply for. You should also include the following material: cover letter, CV, portfolio of selected projects - PDF format, max 4 MB (link to Issuu also accepted)​.
Openings are offered throughout the year and they are addressed to architecture students from around the World. We look for self-motivated and skilled candidates, interested to join our office in Kigali for a temporary internship appointment. Interns at ASA will have the opportunity to be involved in the Rwandan social & cultural context, by contributing to the research and design process of the studio on an everyday basis.

At least 4 semesters of architectural studies
Good skills in  AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Photoshop, InDesign 
High motivation,versatility and curiosity
Fluent spoken and written English

Minimum 3/5 months commitment.
We are looking for a dynamic young professional to join our team in Kigali.

High proficiency with ArchiCAD and English required, construction site experience preferred.

If you are interested in joining our firm, please send your cover letter, cv and portfolio to the address bellow.
   Please send your application to jobs@activesocialarchitecture.com

We sincerely thank all candidates for their interest.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests we receive, we are unable to respond to all applicants, therefore only those being ranked for an interview will be contacted
Contact Us

A: +250 728 66 7860
F: +250 787 78 2755
Z: +250 726 74 6791
KN 7 ave
Kigali, Rwanda