© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

Eco Moyo Kindergarten // Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

Kilifi, Kenya

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Text description provided by the architects.

Eco Moyo Education Centre is a Norwegian/Kenyan charity working to increase the quality of life for underprivileged children. As of this date the organization provides free education for more than 200 children in Dzunguni village which is in a rural area in the coastal region of Kilifi county in Kenya.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

For the last 5 years the school has been run by donations received from individual sponsors. The unique artist-based initiative – “Eco Moyo Auction” is an annual fundraiser initiated by stencil artist Martin Whatson and art collector Fredrik B. Haukebøe and is the largest contributor to the project. Throughout the growth of the school several unique buildings have come up through a set of different collaborations between Norwegian institutions and local workforce from the surrounding village.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

In the fall of 2019 Arkitekter uten grenser Norge (AUG), Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski and Eco Moyo Education Centre teamed up to design and build two new kindergarten classrooms for the school. During the design process it was important to use local knowledge and resources available in the vicinity of the school – local masons were hired in the construction of the foundation, and traditional carpenters were hired for the timber structure.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

The timber was sourced from a nearby casuarina forest, and the coral stones used in the foundation was also quarried nearby. The two main building materials inspired a design that consists of two horizontal and parallel surfaces framed by 3 opaque walls and 2 screens that define the main activity space of each building – the concrete floor gradually steps down towards the existing landscape and the sisal ceiling extends outwards to all four sides of each building.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

The augmented space becomes a place of transition where various activities can take place at once. For instance, facing the football field is a set of two walkways that can be used for observing the games. The slight shift of the two buildings further generates a space that becomes a natural gathering point.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

The corrugated metal roofs on each building are a simple yet effective structure. The columns extend upwards carrying four rafters of casuarina that are further covered by slimmer casuarinas that carry the metal sheets. The simple, uninterrupted slope opens towards the predominant wind direction, the south. Sisal covered ceilings trap the heat that radiates from the roof and allows for a cool and ventilated space underneath.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

The two roofs also slope towards the 2+3 water tanks and can store up to 25.000 liters of water which is much needed in the dry season. The structures for the water tanks enclose the big open space behind the kindergarten. Further, the interior space is defined by two screens of sisal and three walls of makuti – a local thatch material made from dried palm leaves.

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

These screens provide privacy to the classrooms yet at the same time preserving some of the connectivity with the surrounding landscape, nature or bush. The makuti walls, on the other hand, protect the indoors from heavy rains while at the same time providing practical surfaces for furniture or for pinning up student work..

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

© Architectopia, Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski, Arkitekter Uten Grenser Norge

Eco Moyo Kindergarten Gallery

© JGMA

RICHARD J. DALEY COLLEGE ENGINEERING + ADVANCED MANUFACTURING CENTER / / JGMA

7500, South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL, United States

© Equipo de Arquitectura

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