tall ventilation towers in kéré architecture's kenyan education campus mimic termite mounds

May 05, 2021

the architecture of the campus celebrates the unique morphology and natural beauty of its site, while creating a new landmark for the area. extensive roof terraces shaded by creeping vegetation offer expansive views over lake turkana and provide pleasant outdoor meeting spaces and opportunities for the informal exchange of ideas. drawing from the region’s termite mounds, the tall ventilation towers create a stack effect to naturally cool the main working spaces by extracting warm air upwards. meanwhile, fresh air is introduced through specially designed low-level openings. this system allows the campus to withstand high temperatures and is especially well suited as it prevents dust from damaging the it equipment.

project info:

local name: startup lions campus

architect: kéré architecture, diébédo francis kéré, berlin, germany

location: turkana county, kenya

size: 1416 sqm (15242 sqft)

design year: may 2019 – december 2019

construction year: december 2020 – april 2021

design team: kinan deeb, andrea maretto

contributors: juan carlos zapata, leonne vögelin, charles andré, malak nasreldin kéré architecture, berlin, germany

project management: kinan deeb

engineering + construction: buildX studio, kyuna rd, nairobi, kenya

client: learning lions gUG (haftungsbeschränkt), geltendorf, germany