We had earlier mentioned of reknown architect Francis Diebedo Kere making foray into the Kenyan architectural scene. Kere Architecture has just recently released plans on the Mama Sarah Obama Legacy centre in Kogelo, an earthen fell to the architecture that he has been reknown for.
From the Project Architects
In establishing a lasting educational resource for underserved and at-risk youth in Kenya, The Mama Sarah Obama Legacy project is the culmination of Mama Sarah’s lifetime of service towards helping orphans and impoverished families feed and educate their children. After years of feeding and clothing children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, Mama Sarah established her foundation with the goal of making a larger impact on their lives. Despite having never obtained formal education herself, she believes strongly in the transformative and empowering impact of education.
Located in the birthplace of President Barack Obama’s father, the Legacy project is an educational campus that will serve upwards of one thousand students and pre-schoolers. The project is comprised of three major components; a secondary school, a primary school, and an early childhood development center. The Secondary and Primary schools will support students aged seven to eighteen. The Early Childhood Development Center supports infants and children aged two to six. In promoting a sustainable approach to community-strengthening and education, the campus design embraces the notion of a chain of knowledge physically and programmatically. Each school is uniquely designed for its specific age group and is supplemented by age-appropriate playgrounds and sports fields. The Early Childhood Development Center includes a nursery, playrooms, nap rooms and its own private outdoor play space. The Primary and Secondary schools each have their own libraries, science labs and media labs. The architecture of the campus is an aspirational tool; where the dynamic spaces and buildings inspire students to advance to the next academic level.
Despite the common shared boundaries of the campus, it was important that each school was designed with its own entrance, courtyard, and private garden space. This allows for each age-group of students to have their own respective space for studying and socializing, without disrupting the other age-groups. Two different types of outdoor space where developed for each school that help to facilitate this division.
Each school has its own courtyard for high-energy activity such as socializing and playing. Each school also has its own private garden space for studying, quite reflection and low-volume chatting. Although the schools operate completely individually from each other, they are united through a variety of shared public spaces such as an auditorium, sports fields, and cafeteria. These community-focused spaces will support special assemblies, school celebrations, and sporting events not only for the schools but for the surrounding community as well.
The Mama Sarah Obama Foundation is actively raising funds to support this much needed educational resource in Kogelo.
Architects: Kere Architecture
Status: In Development
Site: Kogelo / Kenya
Size: 12 Hectares
Client: Mama Sarah Obama Foundation
Burkinabe Architect Diebedo Francis Kere, respected worldwide for designing buildings ecologically and socially adequate to their environment, an art that has earned him awards galore and lecture stints at leading universities, is soon to undertake his first project in Kenya. Kere, 48 has been selected to design the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF) in Kogelo village, Siaya County, Kenya an initiative by President Barack Obama’s step grandmother. The architect, probably well known for designing the Gando School, which had the full participation of the Gando people including the school children, will have a chance to do the same for the people of Kogello.
The MSOF’s mission is to improve the education and welfare of disenfranchised children in order to help them successfully achieve their goals and have a better future. Today, Mama Sarah has developed a vision for her legacy that will build upon her actions, accomplishments and resources to make a lasting impression on the causes she believes in. This vision is being implemented through her work at the Foundation, and includes the construction of an Early Childhood Development Center, Rehabilitation of a Primary and Secondary School, Construction of a Medical Center and a Vocational Training Center as well as establishment of the Mama Sarah Scholarship Fund.
Kere was recently in Kenya to witness the launch of foundation and has already dealt with the master planning aspects of the project.