Boogertman + Partners Architects

The Wangari Muta Maathai House

Works, 14. February 2017
By: Boogertman + Partners Architects
Nairobi, Kenya


The Wangari Muta Maathai Foundation

Boogertman + Partners Architects

Project Directors
Bob van Bebber, Johann de Wet

Judith Paterson, Dilushka Barlow

Site area
8.2 Acres

Green Belt Movement Offices area
2.2 Acres

Wangari Maathai Foundation area
​6 Acres

The Wangari Muta Maathai House was selected as the winner in the Future Buildings: Culture category at the 2016 World Architecture Festival.

Approach from Parking Area (Image: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

The Wangari Muta Maathai House is envisaged as a living memorial - a forum for experiential learning for all Kenyans, Africans and peoples of the globe. Unfolding the life of Wangari Maathai, in an intimate facility, will enable visitors to understand her commitment to human rights, environmental conservation and promoting the culture of peace.

Approaching the structural ring on foot, enveloped by the forest, one walks along the timber-decked route. Following the route, one crosses a body of water to enter beneath the structural ring, which floats overhead. The site then lifts naturally to support the underside of this ring and eventually envelope the auditorium component, at the rear.

View from the Water Element (Image: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

The circular form symbolises the simplicity embodied in the basic cycle of nature. The form, embedded within ethereal forest physically manifests the notion of ‘walks and talks’ – communicating the salient points of Wangari’s legacy - a childhood sense of wonder coalesced with the ethics of taking action.

Aerial View (Image: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

The open, encircled courtyard is the focus, as it maintains a connection with the trees. It contains the Amphitheatre, an informal raised berm and the Mausoleum, a quiet, subterranean space. The exhibition space, library, conference centre and functional areas are accommodated in the structural ring.

Courtyard Approach (Image: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

Masterplan (Drawing: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

Section A (Drawing: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

Section B (Drawing: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

Sketch (Drawing: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

Sketch (Drawing: Boogertman + Partners Architects)

Sketch (Drawing: Boogertman + Partners Architects)