In designing a media lab and library for the youth of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, my primary intention is to create a space that provokes learning. The buildings are located at the front of the site along the road creating a controlled and secure entrance into the facility. They extend along both edges of the site creating a central open-air entrance that pulls you into the site.
When selecting materials I chose to explore the use of contrasting heavy and lightweight materials. Building stones, which are dug and calved from different suburbs of Nairobi, would be used for the building on the eastern edge of the site, being very heavy in appearance. In contrast, the building at the western edge would be very light, using a timber frame structure as well as corrugated metal and transparent plastic panels for the wall infill.
Wooden louvers would act as sun screens throughout the exterior of the building. This would filter the amount of light passing through while at the same time allowing cross ventilation to keep the building comfortable in the summer months. By using local building materials as well as local labor the space becomes a low cost design solution that is environmentally sensitive.