Little Known Iconic Buildings Tucked in Kenyan Villages [PHOTOS]

  • A collage image of Startup Lions Campus in Turkana County.
    A collage image of Startup Lions Campus in Turkana County.
    File
  • Over the years, iconic buildings have been associated with cities and towns. However, there are architectural masterpieces that are tucked in Kenyan villages that are unbeknown to the majority of Kenyans. 

    The little-known buildings have been famed for the use of modern technology and the representation of the Kenyan culture that they carry. Interestingly the buildings are made from locally assembled materials such as sisal, stones, and timber.

    Here is a list of five iconic architectural masterpieces tucked within Kenyan villages across the country.

    1. St Jerome’s Centre 

    The St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru County.
    The St Jerome’s Centre in Nakuru County.
    Odysseas Mourtzouchos

    St Jerome’s Centre is an orphanage situated in Nakuru that was built in a record period of eight weeks and completed in 2014.

    The building was designed by Orkidstudio, an architectural firm that is based in Nairobi County. The iconic orphanage is famed for its iconic structures of wood and modern technology that were used during the construction.

    The contractors used earthbags located between the walls that were filled with soil that absorb heat from sunlight during the day and regulate room temperature during the night.

    2.Startup Lions Campus  

    An image of the Startup Lions Campus in Turkana County.
    An image of the Startup Lions Campus in Turkana County.
    Kéré Architecture

    Startup Lions campus is an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Centre based in Turkana County. The iconic building that resembles termite mounds was built using quarry stones and cement. The building is also painted red to resemble termite mounts.

    Just like termite mounts, the building has tall towers that are used for ventilation to control the in-room temperature of the building. This was informed by the high temperatures that are occasionally experienced in the area.

    The campus was designed by Kéré Architecture, an architectural firm based in Germany, and was completed in 2021.

    3. Sacred Heart Cathedral

    The Sacred Heart Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church is located in Kericho and has gained international traction for its iconic architectural structure.

    The cathedral was built in 2015 and can host 1,500 congregants in one sitting. The building is famed for its iconic giant unifying roof which promotes natural ventilation of the entire building.

    An image of children playing outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kericho County.
    An image of children playing outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kericho County.
    Edmund Sumner

    Built from granite and cypress timber grown from the county, the building is also famed for its complex geometry. The cathedral was designed by John McAslan, an architectural firm whose headquarters are based in the United Kingdom.

    4. Eco Moyo Education Center

    The Eco Moyo Centre is based Kilifi County and was built in 2019 and was designed by Arkitekter Uten Grenser and Jan Kazimierz Godzimirski.

    Eco Moyo is situated in  Dzunguni village and offers education to over 200 children from the village. The building was financed through an auction that was known as the Eco Moyo Auction.

    The centre was built from locally assembled stones and timber from the Casuarina forest.

    The Eco Moyo Education Center Library in Kilifi County.
    The Eco Moyo Education Center Library in Kilifi County.
    File

    Additionally, the center hosts an iconic library that was built in 2017 and is famed for the iconic spaces that allow for breeze to get into the building. The library was also built from concrete and wood.

    5. Laura Katharina Strähle & Ellen Rouwendal Center

    The community center based in Okana Village, Kisumu County is an education center that was built in 2016 and designed by Laura Katharina Strähle & Ellen Rouwendal.

    Some of the designs of the projects are inspired by the acacia tree that is famed for providing shade. The building also has an iconic roof that is designed to enable efficient water collection to be used by the facility.

    Among the technologies is the use of open spaces on the walls to provide efficient ventilation for the rooms.

    An image of the interior of the Okana Village Education Center in Kisumu County.
    An image of the interior of the Okana Village Education Center in Kisumu County.
    Laura Katharina Strähle
    An aerial view of the Education Center in Okana Village, Kisumu County.
    An aerial view of the Education Center in Okana Village, Kisumu County.
    Laura Katharina Strähle