How can a tree inspire a project? A local of Mahiga, Nyeri county Kenya wanted to plant a tree in the school his child attended, the school needed water to allow the tree to grow, but more importantly to provide clean drinking water to his students. The success of focused learning is through content children, by providing safe clean water to students equates to safe access to sanitation thus prevention of disease plus providing equal opportunity access to the teenage girl-child.
An off the grid rain water catchment system using a simple gutter system on the school roof was a solution borne to solve this problem, not only did they solve the water problem but also inspired a whole building complex to be put up.
Dick Clark Architects were appointed to develop the project after winning a competition put forward by Nike and Architecture for humanity. The project was a multi-purpose basketball court that can collect 30,000 liters of water at the price of a bore hole.
Multi-plex systems, the local architect for the project, collaborated keenly with Greg Elsner, Architecture for humanity representative, to realize the project through using local cut stone ‘mahiga’, steel structure and two panel metal roof to build the 436m2 structure. The project over time evolved to a community social space once the program was expanded to include a small stage. This project is not only a landmark but now a community catalyst in the area.