Kabul, Afghanistan

Hope House

“Mahboba’s Promise is extremely grateful to Architects Without Frontiers and to Michal Tomaszewski and to all our generous donors for making Mahboba’s dream of Hope House become a reality.”


Andrea Nield

PROJECT: Hope House
PROJECT TYPE: International Development
LOCATION: Kabul, Afghanistan
PARTNER: Tomaszewski Associates, Chapman Hutchison, Asian Atlas Construction & Engineering Network (ACEN), Ghulam Rabani
FUNDER: Mahboba’s Promise
CLIENT: Mahboba’s Promise
A Children’s Home in Kabul provides much-needed shelter for women and children left widowed and orphaned by conflict.

Mahboba’s Promise was founded by Mahboba Rawi in 1998, who herself was once a refugee from Kabul. It is an Australian NGO dedicated to supporting Afghani women and children who have been left widowed and orphaned by conflict. After years of borrowed accommodation, Mahboba’s Promise needed a permanent home to house destitute women and children and provide facilities for education and training.

In 2005, Mahboba’s Promise approached Architects Without Frontiers (AWF) to assist in making this a reality. AWF enlisted Michal Tomaszewski of Tomaszewski Associates to undertake the architectural services pro bono.

The project was designed with maximum flexibility to facilitate shared and private spaces, as well as allowing for education, training, recreation and sport facilities and a market garden with a produce outlet to the street. The design was produced with close consultation with Structural Engineer, Bruce Hutchison, to ensure protection from the prevalent seismic activity.

The building was designed with a basement, to escape the harsh Afghani Summer and allows for refuge in case of further civil unrest. The dormitories, classrooms and dining hall all open out to a central two-story roofed atrium which floods the building with light and draws in cool air, providing natural ventilation as well as a sense of connectedness and community. In Winter, this space becomes an indoor play and education space, protected from the elements.

Community consultation and local professional collaboration was essential throughout the design of the project to ensure necessary geological data was collected and the design was appropriate culturally, geographically, environmentally as well as practically in terms of material use, logistics and construction methods.

Hope House was completed in 2007 with great success. It has not only provided a long-term home to women and children requiring refuge, but a safe place for them to live, learn and thrive.

Year: 2005- 2007

Status: Complete


Tomaszewski Associates

Chapman Hutchison

Asian Atlas Construction & Engineering Network (ACEN)

Ghulam Rabani