U.S. Embassy Compound
Landscape Architect of Record: Cowen Design
Design-Builder: BL Harbert International
Architect of Record : Page
Cowen Design Group served as the Landscape Architect of Record for the U.S. Embassy Compound in Kigali, Rwanda. The project included a private staff garden and outdoor recreational facilities. Special attention was paid to species selection to establish a strong cultural connection to the landscape and local culture.
The plant palette incorporated many native and adaptive species which were well suited to the soil and seasonally-dry conditions. This reduced all aspects of water usage. A modern irrigation system was designed to utilize high-efficiency nozzles, saving thousands of gallons of potable water per year. To provide additional irrigation water savings, portions of the site were planted with native ground covers which did not require the use of irrigation.
The project was formerly a meat processing plant, resulting in soils heavily affected by the industrial activity. In addition to the limited soil conditions, a trade embargo restricted the importing of fertilizer. Through coordination locally and with the design team the specifications for the project were adapted to include a provision for locally sourced waste-materials as a substitute for synthetic fertilizer.