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Netii Apa: Maasai Mara Cultural Center

Since oral traditions are at the heart of Maasai culture, this thoughtful design for a cultural centre for the Maasai Mara tribe of Kenya places the open-air storytelling hub at the core of a butterfly-shaped plan. The encircling wings accommodate curatorial activities, crafts studios and conferences; the welcoming nature of the entire design is underlined by the inclusion of a community water tap. With a material palette of interlocking stabilized soil blocks and bamboo (a fast-growing grass that could be harvested on site to provide economic benefits to the community), the architecture reinterprets the African vernacular. The project also upholds local building custom by employing women, traditionally the builders in Maasai society, in the construction of the centre. In this way, the people play a central role in the creation of their own gathering space.

Project: Netii Apa: Maasai Mara Cultural Center Location: Maasai Mara, Kenya School: Ryerson University, Canada Team:Alykhan Neky

People’s Choice: A+ Award for Student Work
Netii Apa: Maasai Mara Cultural Center

Explore more Award Winners

2014
Award of MeritA+ Award for Student Work
Designer
Rowan Liivamägi, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, British Columbia
2014
WinnerA+ Award for Student Work
Location
Clifton Forge, Virginia
Team
Professors Keith Zawistowski and Marie Zawistowski with Bethel Abate, Aiysha Alsane, Tyler Atkins, Justin Dennis, Lauren Duda, Huy Duong, Derek Ellison, Megumi Ezure, Katherine Harpst, Ryan Hawkins, Catherine Ives, Anna Knowles-Bagwell, Michael Kretz, Kyle Lee, Jennifer Leeds, Stephanie Mahoney, Leo Naegele, Margaret Nelson, Stephen Perry, Fernanda Rosales, Leah Schaffer, Katherine Schaffernoth, Amanda Schlichting, Ian Shelton, Brent Sikora, Claudia Siles, Emarie Skelton, Samantha Stephenson, Taylor Terrill, Daniel Vantresca, Bryana Warner, Samuel “Aaron” Williams and Samantha Yeh.
Award of MeritA+ Award for Student Work
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
Team
Mingyang Sun and Fangyuan Sheng
School
University of Pennsylvania (Instructor: Christopher Marcinkoski)