Eru-Dition / Youth Media Lab & Library

Building Type / Education
Location / Nairobi, Kenya
Square Footage / 3,000 sq. ft.
Design Tools / Rhino / Vray / Adobe Photoshop / Adobe Illustrator / Adobe InDesign / Physical Models

* Open Architecture Network Africa Challenge Finalist

Project Description

The global population is dependent on computers and the internet as the main source of communication and transfer of digital information. The community of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, a potential asset to the global economy, needs to acquire the knowledge and be able to access the required resources to take its place in the global economy. Eru-Dition will encourage the Mukuru Kwa Njenga neighborhood to join together to produce a community center. Helping with construction will encourage community members to take ownership of the site and its functions. The community will develop and learn from its digital computing technologies, market agriculture center, and locally produced entertainment. With community involvement, Eru-Dition will become a building block for the future that distributes global information and ultimately improves lives.

Eru-Dition focuses on three main design principles:  simplicity, constructability, and interaction. A long corridor not only acts as a single unifying element throughout the site, but it also provides a simple framework that everyone can understand. Every opportunity to encourage community interaction is provided throughout the site. The radio station and daycare become transparent as they open to a large athletic field on the north end of the site. The northeast entrance to the site provides the surrounding community with a canvas-covered space to develop a market of local products, as well as a place to gather and interrelate. Finally, the material pallet coincides with the simplistic nature of the spaces. The existing shipping container will be utilized for photovoltaic battery storage. Local quarried stone and a single size of open-webbed steel joists will carry the building loads, while light gauge steel columns and beams frame the corridor. The remainder of the walls and roof will be in-filled with corrugated steel panels. Finally, the floors will be made of rammed earth inlaid with flagstone.

Eru-dition will provide knowledge through community effort and development.  With this knowledge comes the power to achieve the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of an entire population of skilled individuals.

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