Register or Log in  
Welcome, guest: please register or log in to your account!About Projects Competitions People RSS


Entered into: Africa Challenge

In the heart of the slums of Nairobi, Kenya in a small area called Mukuru Kwa Njenga, a non-profit organization called SIDAREC leads a youth development project in an attempt to educate and train the youth of the community. SIDAREC owns a small plot of land in the midst of the slums butted up against a currently vacant grassy field.
The goal of the project is to address youth in need of education and training and offer them a place to learn these skills as well as other technological training. This is also a place that allows for access to resources that are normally scarce in this area, such as an accessible computer lab and internet café, a sufficient library, a radio broadcasting and production center, and child care facility.
The site is small and modest, but holds great potential for a community center of this nature. The design focuses on the people of the surrounding area and their interaction as a community. Thus, the buildings are placed along the perimeter of the site and hold a strong inward focus towards the soccer field. This is a significant feature of the site, and will be where the most interaction takes place, and thus it is centrally placed not only to encourage interaction throughout the rest of the site, but also promoting continuous surveillance of the area and ensuring the safety of the children using the space. This area has recently become a very dangerous area, and thus the concern for community safety is a significant issue. While the site is primarily enclosed by the 2 existing walls, another stone wall was added to the South-East perimeter as well as a controlled entrance barrier on the East side of the site.
The materials used through out the site are primarily locally produced and purchased and the construction process is designed to be accommodating to the local labor force in order to keep costs to a minimum. The frame of each structure consists of standard timber columns and a truss system that has been designed to be mass produced in order for simplicity, but can be easily modified to create variety in the roof structures of each space. The roof material is formed corrugated metal that allows for rigidity and minimal weather-proofing, but still is malleable enough to accommodate the curve the truss requires. The walls consist of stone that is locally quarried that would be similar to the stone of the existing walls surrounding the site. This also allows for simplicity due to the use of locally recognized building practices and materials. The other wall material consists of timber framed Polygal panels. This material is fairly cheap and easy to modify for different wall systems and provides natural diffusion from sunlight to keep spaces cool while still allowing for natural lighting. It also provides a small, but sufficient sound barrier between spaces that may need audio separation.
Possibilities for energy conservation include use of solar panels on roofs to collect energy and provide power for the computers located on site allowing for self-sufficiency.
Also, the possibility of water run-off collection and filtration systems may allow for minimal plumbing and thus, public restrooms or possibly drinking water.



Sponsored by


Competition Details

The competition entry ID for this project is 1774.

Project Details

PROJECT LEAD: insert the project lead name here
LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya
START DATE: September 08, 2007
CURRENT PHASE: Design development
COST: $150000 USD (Estimated)
PROJECT TYPE: Technology Facility