Okana Centre for Change by Laura Katharina Straehle and Ellen Rouwendal | Dezeen Awards

2018 winners

Okana Centre for Change
by Laura Katharina Straehle and Ellen Rouwendal

Winner: Small Building of the Year 2018. Okana Centre for Change is a pavilion structure in Kenya designed for public use.

The aim of the project was to create architecture with a strong societal impact and so Laura Katharina Straehle and Ellen Rouwendal delivered it in collaboration with locals, workers and international students. This was made possible through low-tech solutions and an easily understandable design process.

The pavilion structure in Kenya, which contains community spaces, ICT rooms, a library, tailoring workshop and bakery, was completed within two years of the initial idea.

Judges comments: "A thoughtful and surprisingly rich collection of spaces. There’s evidence of care and thought across the scale, from the bookcases cast into the columns to the perforated facade that casts dappled light into the interior and provides natural ventilation. A successful marriage of architectural ambition and the needs and practicality of setting up a school."

Architect: Laura Katharina Straehle and Ellen Rouwendal
Project: Okana Centre for Change
Winner of: Small building of the year

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