Jonathan Reeve, an architect from Angus who works with the Voigt Partnership in Arbroath, has designed a school and cultural centre for the Maasai tribe in Kenya. He jetted off to Kenya this week, where he will present his designs for the project at the Maasai Conference in Amboseli.
For his design, Reeve has drawn inspiration from Maasai jewellery. The building will be split into three parts: a school, a cultural centre and an office. The centre, which will boast views of Mount Kilimanjaro, will help educate local children and adults. Construction work is due to begin in August this year.
“Almost everyone around the world has heard of the Maasai tribe, and to incorporate elements in a design brief such as ‘views to Mount Kilimanjaro’ and ‘walls to deter elephant stampedes’ are not what you are used to,” said Reeve.
“This is a sort of an investigative trip and will involve speaking to the local architect, meeting potential builders, visiting the site etc. As an architect to be involved in designing a unique building for the Maasai tribe was a privilege and honour. This is a unique opportunity to be involved with a charity to not only provide design intervention to a poor community, but to be involved in its realisation. I hope to travel back to Kenya in August to assist with the build alongside the other volunteers from across the globe,” he added.
The idea of a cultural centre for the Maasai people started last year when two US charities: My Chosen Vessel and Amor Ministries partnered up with a vision to create a new building in Kenya. Jonathan first encountered Amor Ministries whilst volunteering on a house-building project in South Africa in 2015 and was invited by the charities to use his architectural and creative input in the Kenya School project.