John McAslan + Partners completes amphitheatre at The Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda

The new Amphitheatre designed by John McAslan + Partners marks the first phase of the practice’s masterplan for the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. It will be formally inaugurated on Tuesday 8th April 2014.

The Memorial, on a site where many thousands of victims of the genocide are buried, has been commissioned by the Aegis Trust, the international organisation working to prevent genocide, and will serve as a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the 1994 genocide.

Hannah Lawson, Project Director at John McAslan + Partners, comments:

“The strategic importance of this project cannot be overstated. Its success will have cultural, political and educational ramifications within Rwanda and Africa. Acknowledging the genocide in this public space is part of reparation – repairing and healing – in its broadest sense. The Memorial is about fostering a new climate of trust that must be built on, and sustained. The completion of this first phase of our masterplan is the culmination of ten years of commitment to this highly significant project”

The Memorial site already hosts tens of thousands of visitors annually, from Rwandan school students to international visitors. The first phase of development includes new classrooms for peace-building education, an amphitheatre for commemorative events and an exhibition area. It is envisaged that subsequent phases will deliver a genocide documentation centre housing millions of documents and an International School of Genocide Studies.

Dr James Smith CBE, CEO of the Aegis Trust, comments:

“The first phase of the new masterplan by John McAslan + Partners provides a prominent new entrance, an amphitheatre and education elements, creating a place of shared memory and learning, not only for Rwandans, but for the wider world. The enhanced site will become home to a new Global Centre for Humanity established by the Aegis Trust, delivering genocide prevention programmes.”

This development was made possible thanks to support from the UK Department of International Development (DFID), the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Government of Japan and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOIKA).