DLR Group Launches Design Work at Kenyatta University in Nairobi

DLR Group is collaborating with Kenyatta University to position Kenya’s leading collegiate system for sustained success in meeting the post-secondary needs of the nation’s burgeoning student population.

The Kenyatta University system features five primary campuses and each is experiencing rapid growth. System-wide, Kenyatta University has grown from some 8,000 students in the late 1990s to more than 45,000 students today. To plan for this growth, University officials sought out a strategic partner to develop a systemic approach to meet the needs of students. DLR Group’s initial scope of work was a comprehensive master plan for the main Kenyatta University Campus, located 15 miles northeast of downtown Nairobi.

“The Kenyan culture values education and a strong economy. The country’s expanding middle class has made education in Kenya a growth industry,” said DLR Group National Higher Education Leader Jeff Fenimore. “Kenyatta University enrollment is expected to approach 70,000 in the next 10-15 years. We have collaborated closely with Kenyatta University leadership and presented the master plan to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. DLR Group is honored to contribute our expertise to elevate the quality of higher education available to students in Kenya.”

Guided by Kenya’s national Vision 2030 growth plan, DLR Group has collaborated with Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda to realize her progressive vision for Kenyatta University. The masterplan continues an inspiring adaptive reuse project that began in 1965 when the British government transferred the Templar Military Barracks, then on the outskirts of Nairobi, to the newly formed Kenyan government. The barracks site and its facilities were repurposed into Kenyatta University and development on the original campus has continued in sporadic fashion. DLR Group’s masterplanning efforts aim to provide a strategic vision for all Kenyatta University campuses to meet enrollment needs into the future.

The first step towards implementation of the masterplan is the design of a 30,000 seat multi-purpose sports stadium on the main Kenyatta University Campus. The $52.8 (U.S.) million sports complex includes a comprehensive 172,000 SF (16,000 square meter) student recreation center and will be a regional hub for collegiate sports activities in East Africa. The stadium is designed to host FIFA-sponsored soccer matches and International Association of Athletics Federations sponsored track events.

DLR Group also is designing a 96,068 SF (8,925 square meter) School of Architecture Building on the Ruiru Campus, located five miles north of the main Kenyatta University Campus. The $13.2 (U.S) million School of Architecture Building will be a landmark facility for the redevelopment of the Ruiru Campus as a center for the study of Architecture, Design, and Media Production. The design concept combines the rifts and valleys of the Kenyan landscape and natural forms to create unique spaces for collaboration and integration for five new programs: Architecture and Interior Design; Construction and Real Estate Management; Spatial Environmental Planning Management; Landscape Architecture and Urban Design; and Geodesy Survey and Land Administration.