Denis Karera, who heads the committee, says that the architectural design works are almost complete and the construction will take a full year.
The project will be implemented by Light Earth Designs, who have an exciting design proposal for a new Anglican church for a congregation of 2000 people near Lake Muhazi, one hour’s drive north of Kigali.
The plan is octagonal, loosely based on a cross, with parabolic concrete ribs spanning 36 meters between the eight vertices. Simple parabolic tiled arches span up to 16 meters between the concrete arches and overlap and interlock, creating a form that unfolds to the sky. The vaults were to be constructed out of terracotta tiles, locally produced using coffee husks from the nearby coffee plantations.
The project client had reservations regarding the potential risks that such a new technology posed. Thus the project will not proceed as a vaulted solution.
“We remain committed to demonstrating that this technology is indeed possible in a semi rural context and can compete and even outperform conventional construction technologies in terms of cost and performance. In addition, we strongly believe that vaulting can offer a far more sustainable and beautiful solution” said a statement from the contractors.
Bishop Alexis Bilindabagabo, of Gahini Diocese, has called on Anglican members and wellwishers to donate to the project so that the new church is build said the new church to replace the old one- which also preserves the church’s history and transformation in this next generation.
Gahini Church is the pioneer Anglican church in Rwanda and the old church is an important symbol of the Anglican Church history in the country.
Light Earth Designs LLP is a partnership between award winning architects Peter Rich, Timothy Hall and the engineer Michael Ramage (University of Cambridge and formerly MIT). Light Earth Designs have developed an innovative and award winning thin shell vaulting technology – a fusion of advanced structural analysis, architectural design with labour intensive, locally sourced material production offering a much needed solution to building sustainably in the developing world context.