Oleleshwa Primary School

Freelance Design

Year:                      2009 to 2013
Location:             Ewaso Ngiro, Narok, Kenya
Co-designer:       Karl Sarkis
Photography:     Axel Fassio
Recognition:     Aga Khan Award for Architecture – Anonymously Nominated
                             Architecture Association of Kenya Awards of Excellence – Finalist Best Educational
.                            Kenyan Energy Management Awards – Second Runner Up Green Building Category

The Maasai people of Kenya have traditionally lived in communities of less than 100 people living a nomadic lifestyle based on transhumanance.  With the distribution of land to individual families in the mid-nineties, the Maasai have been forced to live a more permanent life in growing towns and on permanent farms.  Harambee 4 Humanity is working collaboratively with the Ewaso Ngiro community to design and build a school and community hub to assist in redefining its way of life.

The classroom design tackles issues related to durability of Maasai nomadic construction, integration of available modern materials to improve rather than hinder functionality, and a focus on natural lighting, natural ventilation, and occupant safety, while respecting the aesthetic of traditional Maasai architecture.  To ensure access to education for children of both genders, features such as rainwater collection allow girls to attend school and take water home from the cistern instead of walking all day to obtain the family’s water.