Since the Njoro Children’s Library is located in a fairly remote area on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, it was essential that the building function efficiently with a comfortable environment without use of grid energy. All village inhabitants and parents were actively involved in all stages of the design/build process, from the location of the library and layout to construction techniques. “The Njoro Children’s Library aims to develop education and to involve children, parents, teachers, locals and international volunteers to come together to build a space where pupils can read and study,” writes Erimescu. “In this context it is essential that progress is made in breaking the circle of poverty, educating the children and raising living standards.”
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The design of library combines elements of a traditional masai hut with a layout dictated by the golden ratio. The hidden entrance, located at the side of the playground, is situated to allow room for a ramp. Compressed earth is the main construction material and is selected for its temperature-regulating properties. Perforations in the baked brick wall allows for natural ventilation and light, while window shutters protect against harsh sunlight. Banana trees and other vegetation shield the building from the hot dusty wind.
+ Patricia Erimescu
Images via Patricia Erimescu