The project involved master planning and building design, initially for 500 houses.
Working with the Kariobangi community, the architects developed a low cost house model based on a courtyard pattern and shared walls. Each house featured a street-side room intended as a means of income generation through rent or employment, known as the ‘Dollar Room’. This source of income would enable the house owners to obtain low cost mortgages.
The physical design of the houses and their planning would have far reaching social and economic implications for the owners.
The unique aspect of this part of Kariobangi, if compared with Kibera, believed to be one of the worst slums in Africa, is the fact that some 500 people have titles to the land that they occupied.
This proposal won the DESIGN FOR AN EMERGING WORLD – FUTURE COMMUNITIES PROJECT award at CITYSCAPE 2006 in Dubai. The international jury said “This apparently simple approach to creating a new environment for a poor community is in fact based on a sophisticated analysis”. The project has also been shortlisted in the RIBA SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY BY DESIGN competition and features in a travelling RIBA exhibition.
UN Habitat invited Studio Bednarski to present a talk on the project at the UH Habitat seat in Nairobi.