Nairobi -- The design company Boogertman +Partners Architects has won the Karura Forest Education Centre Architectural Design Competition, launched last year by Her Excellency the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and sponsored by the United Nations Envionment Programme (UNEP).
Boogertman +Partners was unveiled as the winner of the competition - which aimed to select a company to design a proposed environmental education facility on the Karura Forest - at a ceremony this afternoon.
The winning design includes a water feature from the natural marshy area, a nature walk and timber cladding, which naturally integrates with the existing environment. It is estimated to cost US $2 million and will take about 15 months to construct.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Exective Director Achim Steiner presided over the unveiling of the winning design.
'Sustainable architecture has arrived right here in the heart of Kenya, in Nairobi,' said Mr. Steiner.
'Building in the twenty-first century cannot simply be the same as it was in the twentieth century. Architecture is as much about design as it is about intelligence, about technology, about efficiency, about harmony with nature.'
About five years ago, five institutions - Vivo Energy Kenya, Kenya Forest Service, Friends of Karura Forest, Oshwal Education and Relief Board and the Green Belt Movement - set up a trust to convert the old Shell Sports Club that occupies 17 acres at the northern west corner of the main forest block off Limuru Road, into a world class environmental education centre.
This effort was supported by UNEP and other agencies interested in forest conservation and environmental education. The Karura Forest Envirnmental Education Centre was established and currently serves an average of 3,000 students each month who visit the forest to learn about forest ecology and environmental sustainability.
The aim of the new forest education facility is to help the trust to deliver on its stated mission 'to be a world class transformational education centre focusing on sustainability with an emphasis on children and the youth'.
For More information: Contact Karanja Njoroge 0729030301