Designing a sustainable future in Nairobi

Wangari Maathai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”. We were the landscape architects in the winning team in an international design competition to create the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI) to honour her work.

The WMI is intended as an international teaching and research facility with a 50-bed residential village for visiting students. A major objective is to pass on Wangari Maathai’s firm belief that sustainably managing natural resources can help create a peaceful, democratic society.

We produced a land use masterplan where buildings and landscape demonstrate the principles of environmental sustainability, good practice in land management and productive landscaping. The formal campus landscape merges into a working landscape, which could be used to demonstrate sustainable agriculture and water management techniques as well as the uses that can be made of natural forest and grassland.

The jury praised our masterplan’s ‘sensitive treatment of ecological issues’ and the extensive handling of sustainable design concepts, as well as the bold architecture.

We further developed the competition-winning design and presented the concept design to help the WMI board seek funding.

To learn more about our masterplanning and landscaping expertise, please contact John Adams.