Masai Mara Conservation Centre, Kenya



Sponsor: Abercrombie  & Kent
Facilitator: RIBA
Type: Open, International, one-stage
Location: Masai Mara, Kenya
Eligibility: Registered architects
Fee: £50+VAT
18 June 2024 – Documents submission deadline
A shortlist of five designs will be presented to the judging panel, which includes members of A&K Travel Group, the Mara Triangle Conservancy and the president of Architectural Association of Kenya, Florence Nyole. The winning design will be announced in October 2024.
Compensation: Each of the shortlisted teams will receive a stipend in the amount of £4,000.
Design Challenge:
When the doors open to the Masai Mara Conservation Center, visitors will be able to climb up to an observation deck for wide-angle views over the savanna, spotting zebras among the acacia trees. Using interactive displays, they’ll learn about the incredible landscape and wildlife that surround them, the importance of conservation, and the customs and culture of the semi-nomadic Maasai people. The first of its kind in Kenya, it will form a striking architectural element for the reserve and give visitors a valuable orientation point — as well as promote sustainable tourism and provide an educational space for schools and the local community.

Entrants are asked to create an imaginative, eye-catching structure that will be a talking point across the continent and leave visitors with a sense of wonder. Its focus will be to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and biodiversity, while being sustainably minded and incorporating elements of Maasai culture and heritage, as well as natural local materials such as wood, stone and thatch. It should utilize energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy sources and passive design strategies such as natural ventilation and daylight, in order to reduce energy consumption. The centre should be no higher than two storeys, be inclusive and accessible for all, with a viewing platform on the second floor, and include a café, gift shop and a classroom.

For more information and to enter, go to: