Nakuru Children’s Home
Built with a diverse group from a small Kikuyu community in the rapidly developing agricultural outskirts of Nakuru, Kenya, our non-profit predecessor Orkidstudio designed and built a new home for local disadvantaged and abandoned children.

The project challenges the typology of the typical African orphanage where children sleep en masse in large dormitories; the new home limits each room to just four children, providing ample space and natural light. The centre has a range of different social spaces, from open communal areas to quiet nooks and crannies, offering space to study, read or simply relax.

The new home also challenges conventional building materials and technology and is made from earthbags, utilising the large quantities of soil available from the site. The high thermal mass from the earthbags effectively absorbs heat from the sun, helping regulate temperatures during the cooler nights. The new home also features the use of recycled timber, rainwater harvesting system and an integrated community water tap.
The centre acts as an example of sustainable, local and inspirational design that is a dignified and healthy place for the orphaned street kids in the community. This not only provides spaces for the children to thrive but also keeps them away from drug and alcohol abuse and violence found on the streets. Furthermore, many of the local men and women who worked on the construction of the centre have since been approached for further earthbag construction work and have helped pass on the skills to others in their community.
Location: Nakuru, Kenya
Year: 2014
Built Area: 400 m²
Structural Engineers: StructureMode
Water System Consultants: Barr+Wray
Photo Credits: Odysseas Mourtzouchos