RIBA launch international design competition for the Masai Mara Conservation Centre

Latest News Wed, Apr 17, 2024 8:31 AM

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today launched an international open design competition for a new Conservation Centre at the Oloololo Gate, Masai Mara, Kenya, on behalf of Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, the philanthropic arm of travel company Abercrombie & Kent.

The Masai Mara Conservation Centre at Oloololo Gate of the Masai Mara National Reserve is envisioned to become an innovative and engaging facility for tourists and visitors that aims to educate, inspire, and create awareness about conservation and the traditions of the Maasai people.

It will serve as a focal point for visitors to the Masai Mara, providing an immersive educational experience that highlights the significance of the natural and cultural heritage of the area. From the spectacle of the great migration to the intricate coexistence of the Maasai people and wildlife, the centre aims to deepen visitors' understanding and appreciation of the Mara’s unique ecosystem.

Photo: Mark Williams

The primary objective of the centre is to educate visitors about the importance of conservation, biodiversity, and the delicate balance of ecosystems within the Masai Mara. The centre will be designed with sustainable principles in mind, utilising eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient technologies, and renewable energy sources.

The architects’ design should respect and integrate elements of Maasai culture and heritage, creating a harmonious blend between the centre and its surroundings.

Overall, the centre should offer a memorable and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

Cristina Levis, Chief Executive Officer, Abercrombie & Kent Travel Group said: "A&K’s heritage is rooted in Kenya's heritage, passionately committed to conservation and honoring the Maasai culture. The new Conservation Centre at Oloololo Gate is more than a building; it's a symbol of sustainable tourism and environmental stewardship, aiming to protect the Masai Mara's natural beauty and cultural legacy. It reflects our vision of a sustainable future through eco-friendly design and education."

The competition will follow the open design process with the first phase seeking anonymous concept designs. Following evaluation of the entries, a shortlist of up to five designs will be selected to proceed to the second phase of the competition.

The competition is open internationally to registered architects. Architects should be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in the UK, or an equivalent, recognised overseas regulatory authority. Collaboration is encouraged between individuals and organisations of different size, expertise and experience.

To view the full competition brief and for details on how to register please visit https://akphilanthropy.org/projects/a-fresh-outlook-on-the-masai-mara. The closing date for submission of design proposals is Tuesday 18 June 2024 at 12midday BST.

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