Lyra hostels for school girls, Tanzania 2016 - ongoing project

Lyra in Africa and the architect team Hollmén Reuter Sandman are working together on a Girls’ Hostel project for Nyang’oro School, Iringa, Tanzania. Lyra in Africa is providing the funding for the construction of the hostel facilities, whereas Hollmén Reuter Sandman are providing the architectural design.

Sustainable, environmentally and culturally appropriate architecture is vitally important for the success of the Lyra’s hostel project, and it will set a standard in the future projects in the area. It will also have a strong impact on the community by allowing them to engage in the design and construction on the hostel, thus strengthening their economy, social status and vitality. The construction starts at the end of 2017 and is estimated to be finished by the end of 2018.

Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects


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.

Labour ward architecture could make it easier for women to understand the stage of labour in which they are, to understand where they will go to next and for staff to more readily manage situations as they arise. The spaces on display here are organised to achieve a balance between safety and privacy.

The process is carried out as a collaboration between architecture, service design and product design. Helena Sandman from Ukumbi and three designers from M4ID are trying to meet the challenges with cost-effective design solutions that are easy to implement. The aim is to find solutions that can benefit also other facilities with similar challenges both in India and elsewhere.

Helena Sandman et al.



Helena Sandman et al.


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.

Hollmén 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.

Hollmén 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.

Hollmén Reuter Sandman architects


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

Kouk Khleang Youth Center is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is operated by two Cambodian NGOs Cambodian Volunteers for Society (CVS) and Khmer Kampuchea Krom for Human Rights and Development Association (KKKHRDA). They provide underpriviliged Cambodian youth with possibilities for education, work and societal activities and the priviliged youth with possibilities for volunteerism. The design process was carried out in close collaboration with the NGOs and the neighboring community through workshops and other participatory design methods.

Sustainable and culturally appropriate materials and building techniques were used: bamboo, earth blocks, recycled plastic bottles, natural ventilation and rainwater harvesting. In addition to the building itself our wish was to leave as much of the knowledge we gained during the project to the future professionals and users of the building. An illustrated bamboo guide was distributed to the contractor and his crew as well as local student groups during the project. Several workshops and lectures were also organized on site and in the local universities for students and professionals. The building had its grand opening on April 9th 2014.

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.

Hollmén 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.

Hollmén Reuter Sandman architects