Contemporary vernacular: a school by SelgasCano in Nairobi

Built with universally available scaffolding, the project immerses itself in the context of a slum, enhancing the unexpected and the variation.

SelgasCano, Kibera Hamlets, Nairobi, Kenya, 2018

From London to Nairobi. From a pavilion designed for the refined public of the Serpentine Gallery to another built for children in the slum of Kibera, one of the poorest in the world. Despite the different contexts – and availability – SelgasCano maintains its approach to design, which describes it as “a social algorithm through which a set of simple rules informs the generation of architectural space across a broad range of contexts, crafts, and skill sets”. Kibera Hamlets, designed together with Helloeverything, brings together the vernacular architecture of Kenya and global and standardised techniques.

Seen from above, the school perfectly fits in the hyper-dense slum context. The structure is made up of scaffolding, universal elements organised in modular systems. Improvisation, variation and error are the constants that give the project liveliness, in tune with the surroundings. Designers are interested in the use and reuse of ordinary components commonly used in the construction industry. Enriched by bright colors, the design atmosphere is ideal for learning and developing creativity.

SelgasCano + Helloeverything, Kibera Hamlets, Nairobi, Kenya, 2018
SelgasCano + Helloeverything, Kibera Hamlets, Nairobi, Kenya, 2018

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