Iwacu Academy

Year: 2018
Client: Iwacu Academy
Size: 2800 sqm
Cost: not disclosed 

Holistic education in Kigali

Iwacu Academy's curriculum is specially chosen to ensure that children have the opportunity to excel at learning. The CREATION Kids curriculum has been developed by a group of expert educators based in the United States. Emphasis is put on holistic education practices, encompassing the academic, physical and spiritual, as well as programs that develop practical and artistic skills while focusing on individual child development through small teacher-student ratio. Moreover the Academy promotes greater parent involvement and participation to create a positive and sustained learning environment between home and school.
Iwacu Academy subscribes to the idea that a child needs to develop holistically, and a school should provide an environment that facilitates this. The school premises are set up to be age-appropriate, attractive and appealing to the senses of a young child.  Children shall learn through various forms of activity: music, play, exercises to develop motor and other skills, practical life skills and outdoor activity such as tending to the school garden. ​ 
The CREATION Kids curriculum aims to help children lead healthier, happier lives, through the following principles: choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal relationships, outlook, and nutrition. 

  Aerial view, Iwacu Academy 2019

The School Village

With a concept design that brakes the traditional stereotipes of teaching and learning, ASA proposes alternative arrangements, dynamic spaces and desgin details that interpret the local heritage while looking at space from the eye of the child.

The focus of the design is the learning experience of the user, who grows in The School Village from toddler to end of primary studies. A place where children feel safe and free to experiment, explore, discover and develop their curiosity, A place where the work of teachers is facilitated because the design is a teaching tool.


    Admin block

Scientific studies confirms that children in a room tends to play in the corners rather than in the center of the room because they feel more comfortable and protected than in an open space.

The School Village design concept is driven from this theory. The module that scatters on the land is a triangle base volume with a single pitch roof. The corners are designed as niches, alcoves where one to three children can gather and privately interact while the central space is used for the main activities (circle time etc).
Even if in plan the rooms are all the same, the roofs have different inclinations to creates interesting variations inside (areas with different ceiling height) as well as from outside: from the other side of the valley it looks like a “sails” village.
Given the triangle shape, the exterior space is fragmented in different geometric shape playgrounds and patios where sensorial activities can happen.


The village is distributed along a road which is partially open, partially covered and closed. The road is not only connection space but it is also interaction, gathering and playful area. The connection space is flexible and allow multiple uses at the same time.

Moreover the 62% of the plot will be dedicated to green areas, consisting of one big shared  playgorund and a system of smaller classroom playgrounds that become learning tools.

Sensorial stimulation stations are located in common areas shared between two classrooms, while tactile, earing, visual and smelling are addressed throughout the landscaping in strategic locations the children can discover and experiment alone.

    Nursery learning space