Nyumba Mpya Orphanage


Nyumba Mpya means „new home” in the local Swahili language. For us, the entire project is not limited to the walls and roof, but above all, it is a visual description of a way of transferring the idea of a safe and joyful childhood into the spatial fabric.

As with most projects in the Global South, economic and ecological considerations were the priority in the design. The investment had to be as cheap as possible to build, ensure self-sufficiency in the future, and at the same time be neutral to the natural environment. For these reasons, it was decided to choose a structure made of bamboo – a renewable material, that recently started to be available and promoted in the region. Quite obvious choices were not given up either – a full photovoltaic power supply, reuse of bio-waste and rainwater were also designed. But it didn’t end there. Two of foundation’s founders are experienced psychologists, so it was decided that the project should also refer to mental support for children who have had difficult experiences in a past. The design of the building’s architecture was based on research in the field of neuroarchitecture, organizing the space in a way that facilitates establishing social bonds and gives a sense of security and empowerment.


The orphanage, like the entire organization, is supposed to operate holistically. Children will get a place to develop safely, where they will be able to play and enjoy themselves, but also take care of their future.

One of the elements that received attention is the mental health and social development of children. Knowledge in the field of neuroarchitecture was used to create spaces supporting the development of social bonds, but also additional functions such as:

  • a vegetable garden and a hen house where children can learn responsibility
  • spaces near dormitories that children will be able to change and create themselves, which will make them feel empowered
  • spaces for group work where children will be able to learn from each other
  • an auditorium where local professionals will teach them crafts and farming, thanks to which they will be able to earn money for themselves as adults
  • open, multisensory spaces for play and sports that enhance creativity
  • architecture that takes into account local traditions and forms, strengthening the sense of identity


It started with creating a spatial layout based on the rural structure of Ugandan villages. Thanks to this, the place does not differ much from the architecture already familiar to children, and it also teaches how to function in a similar spatial and social structure in the future. The central main building houses a multifunctional canteen, which is also a place for meetings, playing games, and learning for 120 children living in the orphanage.

In addition, it contains all the necessary storages, utility spaces, and offices. Directly behind it, there is a courtyard with zones for various activities for children – a sandy playground, swings, hammocks, and an open auditorium. On both sides of it, there are dormitory areas containing modular buildings with bedrooms and bathrooms for children, as well as dedicated semi-public spaces intended for joint socialization and play.

  • Rodzaj obiektu: Użyteczność publiczna, zamieszkanie zbiorowe
  • Rok ukończenia projektu: 2023
  • Lokacja: Ruhija, Uganda
  • Wielkość inwestycji: 3600 m2
  • Inwestor: Fundacja Zdrowi My – We Give a Hand
  • Współpraca autorska: Zeeshan-Khurram Designs (Zeeshan Asim), Areej Tahir, Rabia Ishaq
  • Zakres projektu: Projekt koncepcyjny