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Magadi Classrooms

Magadi, Kenya

Co-lead Architect (+ Katharina Manecke)


Memusi Foundation

Constructed (2 classrooms)

07.2018 - 07.2021

35m2 x2

Soaring temperatures and large class sizes can make learning challenging for children in rural SubSaharan Africa. The Magadi Classroom project aims to mitigate these challenges by providing a well-equipped learning environment kept cool through passive design strategies for children at Memusi schools in the Magadi region of Kenya.


The classroom has been designed to have minimal embodied and in-use energy and draws inspiration from the arid, rocky landscape of the Magadi region. A prefabricated steel frame is combined with locally sourced materials to offer a viable alternative to a customary concrete classroom design both in terms of performance and construction cost. The selection of the gabion wall construction method and use of solar power and rainwater collection has been tailored to ensure the building is robust and low maintenance in a remote rural context. The construction process has been designed to be mastered by both local women and international volunteers coming to teach at the Memusi schools.


In 2021, the Memusi Foundation constructed two of the classrooms, which achieved a cost saving of 50% when compared with a comparable concrete design. We are working with the Foundation to develop a strategy where the remaining 50% of the budget is locked to be spent on classroom maintenance and teacher’s wages, providing a quality education long-term.

Magadi Classroom Render 3 - Inside - New
Magadi Classroom Render 2 - Outside Deta
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