Have you ever wondered what happens to an art installation after it’s dismantled? While some installations sadly end up in the landfill, Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Hamlet Pavilion will thankfully be reborn as a school in Africa’s largest urban slum. Designed by SelgasCano in collaboration with Helloeverything, the Hamlet Pavilion will be reconstructed as a 600-student school for the sprawling Kibera slum in Nairobi.
The idea to repurpose the pavilion as a school began with a trip photographer Iwan Baan took to Kibera, where he visited the Kibera Hamlets School, a ramshackle and decrepit facility that provides education to children in the 2.5-square-kilometer shantytown. After SelgasCano joined Baan for another trip down to Kibera, the Spanish design studio turned their museum commission for a summer pavilion into an opportunity for reuse. The Hamlet pavilion was displayed at the Louisiana museum for the ‘Africa: Architecture, Culture and Identity exhibition. After the exhibition closed in October last year, the structure was dismantled and is now en route to Kenya.
The 150-square-meter pavilion/school costs approximately £25,000 and is made from low-cost and durable materials, including translucent polycarbonate plastic, pink and yellow-painted scaffolding, and chipboard. The two-story hut-like building will serve nursery-age children to secondary pupils and comprises a dozen classrooms, offices, toilets, and a kitchen. Plastic water-filled containers anchor the building to the ground and double as seating around the school. London creative workplace Second Home will pay for the pavilion’s shipping and reconstruction in Kibera, Nairobi.
“Through Iwan we were in touch with a local architect and we visited the Kibera Hamlets School,” Jose Selgas of SelgasCano told Dezeen. “That visit impacted us absolutely so we committed to help them improve the school. We want to do it because we know that it’s good. In the end it’s very easy to do this thing; it’s very cheap for us. £25,000 is nothing. And you are changing the lives of 600 kids. At night it will light up like a lighthouse and it’s going to change a little bit the mentality of the kids who go there.”
Images via SelgasCano