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Wangari Maathai Institute

The Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies is located on a gently sloping 50- acre site at the University of Nairobi Kabete campus, Kenya. It was envisaged to inspire a hub of activities focused around natural resource management and education for sustainable development. The building was expected to meet stringent sustainability and conservation criteria, aiming to achieve close to 100% carbon neutrality and self-sufficiency.

The design gives expression to the vision of Wangari Maathai for “democratic space”, sustainable management of environmental resources, education and empowerment. At the heart of the scheme is a dignified “democratic space”. A tree at the centre of the space represents Wangari Maathai’s commitment to tree planting with Green Belt Movement.

The roof of the building floats over the facilities below like a dramatic flowing tree canopy resting on tree-like steel columns. The building form seems to blend with the topography of the surrounding landscape, yet at certain key points the canopy is raised up in order to receive visitors into the building.

  • Client Wangari Maathai Foundation
  • Location Nairobi, Kenya
  • Year Unbuilt
  • Area 31 604 m²
  • Status Competition
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