Diébédo Francis Kéré won a prestigious award in the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2022. Kéré participated in this prestigious world-class competition through several of his works, one of the topics that is being discussed is the Startup Lions Campus, located in Kenya.
This building is an office as well as an Information Technology and Technology (ICT) campus located on the shores of Lake Turkana. With an area of 1416m2, this project is intended to respond to local social problems where the youth unemployment rate in the area is quite high. Through this building, it is hoped that the program will offer high-level training and access to international job opportunities to the fullest so those young entrepreneurs can develop and learn without having to leave their place of origin.
Functionally, the campus provides 100 new workstations which is a great first step in the vision for the dissemination of ICT knowledge and knowledge in remote areas. Inspired by the towering dunes built by termites and ant colonies, this building showcases the unique morphology and beauty of its site.
Startup Lions Campus is built on two levels that follow the natural slope of the land contour and features a spacious roof terrace, offering stunning views of Lake Turkana. On the roof terrace, vines are allowed to grow to refresh the area while providing a pleasant feeling when exchanging ideas or information informally.
In each building mass, there is a tall tower that functions as an air circulation vent that will naturally cool the main workspace by extracting warm air upwards, while fresh air is circulated through specially designed low-level openings. Such a system is optimal in regulating campus temperatures by withstanding high temperatures and is very suitable for preventing dust from entering which has the potential to damage equipment. These vents create a pile effect that further reflects the anthill's mound.
The campus is built of locally quarried stone with a layer of plaster. In selecting which construction materials and techniques to use, ecological sustainability, cost, and availability factors are considered to reach the best compromise. Collaboration with local communities is key in this decision-making process, based on their experience and expertise.