Lab.our Ward, 2016 - ongoing project

The goal of the Lab.our Ward Project is to design labour ward innovations based around women's and care providers' needs and to support a safer birth experience for every woman and newborn. The project is run by M4ID and initiated by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The process is carried out as a collaboration between architecture, service design and product design. Helena Sandman put together the architecture team of interior designer Kanika Frings and architecture students Petter Eklund and Mariana Rantanen.

Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects


KWIECO Shelter House, Moshi, Tanzania 2010 - ongoing project

Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange and Consultancy Organization (KWIECO) is a non-governmental organisation in Moshi, Tanzania, that has since 1987 been working actively to improve the status of women in Tanzania. The organisation provides free legal consultation for women.

KWIECO works to disseminate information about women's legal rights and to change popular attitudes. It also defends the rights of children and offers physical and mental shelter for the victims of domestic violence. The founding of a shelter for women has long been a key goal for KWIECO, and Ukumbi was invited to design it.

The first phase of the shelter building was opened in May 2015.

Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects


A.P.E. Learning centre, Cairo, Egypt 2010 - ongoing project

The Association for the Protection of the Environment (A.P.E.) is a private voluntary organization registered in Egypt in 1984. The Association’s goals are both to improve living standards within Zabbaleen communities and to protect the environment through creation of a better understanding of the dynamics of household garbage collection in urban areas, and promotion of waste reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives.

Ukumbi and A.P.E. established collaboration in March 2010, with the support of the Finnish Embassy in Cairo, to design and construct a new Learning Centre for the Zabbaleen community in Mokattam, Cairo. The architecture of the new Learning Centre aims to create a model of what can be achieved by efficient and innovative recycling, and also to raise the level of self esteem among the Zabbaleen.

Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects


Agaseke Project, Kigali City, Rwanda 2011 - ongoing project

Agaseke project is a Rwandan Handcrafts Making Project established in 2007 in Kigali City, with support and partnership of Imbuto Foundation, and Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (“RIEPA”). The vision for the Project is to provide an opportunity for vulnerable, unemployed and landless women of Kigali City, by supporting them to create their own employment and a sustainable livelihood thereby enabling them to redeem themselves and their families, out of extreme poverty.

The current project is proposing putting in place one incubation/training centre for women which will directly benefit 400 women. The Incubation Centre will be designed to equip women with adequate skills in handcraft making, and also skills in business development including areas such as quality controls, marketing, communication, entrepreneurship and gender and development. This will give women an opportunity to create employment for themselves as a result of improved capacities.

Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects


Kouk Khleang Youth Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2010 - 2014

KKYC started as a collaboration between Komitu Team and Cambodian Volunteers for Society (CVS) to build a youth center to house the association's activities. The project was supported by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, several Finnish art institutions, Aalto University and private donors. The building had its grand opening on April 9th 2014.

The youth center offers complementary classes for example in English and IT for locals in an underpriveleged neighborhood in Phnom Penh. It is run by two local NGOs that also educate about human rights and work on activating people to take part in the development of Cambodian society. CVS offers volunteering programs for educated youth that allow them to learn and make useful contributions to their communities while gaining work experience for their future professional careers. CVS also arranges meetings for youth from different urban communities in order to find solutions for common problems. Khmer Kamputsea Krom for Human Rights and Development (KKKHRDA) runs a radio program about human rights in local Khmer language, among other activities.

KOMITU architects


Sra Pou Vocational School, Udong, Cambodia 2010 - 2011

The purpose of the vocational training centre is to encourage and teach poor families to earn their own living. The Sra Pou community is one of the unprivileged communities in Cambodia, who have been evicted from their homes in the city to the surrounding countryside. They lack basic infrastructure, decent built environment and secure income. The new vocational school provides professional training and helps the people to start sustainable businesses together.

The school building is made out of local materials with local workforce. The aim was to teach people how to make the most out of the materials that are easily available, so that they can apply the same construction techniques for their own houses in the future.

Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen


The TunaHAKI Orphanage, Moshi, Tanzania 2007

TunaHAKI Centre is a shelter for AIDS orphans and street children in Moshi, Tanzania. It was founded in 1998 by David and Mary Ryatula, and ever since they have saved the lives of many.

For the children of TunaHAKI, whose future has been drastically endangered, we wanted to create an environment that would have been safe, sustainable and rooted to their own culture.

Unfortunately neither the orphanage nor the theater will be built due to reasons out of our control.

Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects


Women's Centre, Rufisque, Senegal 1995 - 2001

The women's centre, built in a suburb of Rufisque, offers facilities for the activities of the various organisations formed by the women. The idea and the spatial programme of the centre were born in co-operation with local women's groups.

The building was carried out as an NGO project through 'Tekniska Foreningen i Finland', and was financed by the Finnish Foreign Ministry, the Senegalese-Finnish Association ARC, as well as by scholarships received from various foundations. The plot was donated by the city of Rufisque and donations were also received from locals.

The centre was completed in October 2001. Hundreds of people participated in the opening festivities and the atmosphere was happy and relaxed; the building received its guests with open arms.

Hollmen Reuter Sandman architects