Sixto Cordero

Sixto Cordero

Los Angeles, CA, US


Kibera Hamlets

The Kibera Hamlet School emerged out of the collaboration of our architecture practice, helloeverything, with Madrid based architecture studio Selgascano, the photographer and social connector for the project Iwan Baan and our local partners Studio 14 with sponsorship by Second Home, a London cultural venue and workspace. Originally commissioned as a pavilion for the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the project traveled over 11,000 km by sea to be reborn as a school for youth in Kibera, Kenya.

Nairobi’s accelerated urbanization generates massive informal enclaves such as Kibera (which is the second largest slum in Africa with a population exceeding 750.000). These enclaves are common ports of entry for most of the new migrants who arrive in the city, generating an eclectic mixture of backgrounds, languages and expertise. As a consequence Kibera’s vernacular is an evolving hybrid of adaptation and tradition that heavily favors the former, a kind of organic and idiosyncratic urbanism, that drives the cultural landscape of a new Nairobi, with all the friction and contentions therein. 

The Kibera Hamlets School is built as a test of how the architecture of modification, reinterpretation, and serendipitous accident can engage a community and establish platforms through which people become active agents of design at a very local scale. In continuous feedback with its context, the project strives towards something mutable and plastic, very difficult to contain or impose upon, a kind of productive consumption that exemplifies a new vernacular, the vernacular of globalized adaptation.

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Status: Built
Location: Kibera Special Settlement Area, KE
My Role: Designer, Project Manager
Additional Credits: SelgasCano + helloeverything