K.N.L.S. Tharaka Nithi Branch

Njeru Samuel Gitonga
University of Nairobi, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Design

Idea projektu

The idea was to create a modern public library suitable for the digital age, but also fitting for the African context. In the digital age where information can be accessed easily by anyone with a smartphone or computer, public libraries across the world are taking on additional roles beyond their assigned functions; all in a bid to remain relevant. K.N.L.S. (Kenya National Library Services) Tharaka Nithi was envisioned following a detailed research on the various new ways in which Kenyans utilized public libraries in this modern digital age. The design features appropriate spaces created to accommodate the identified new programs. Yet, the conceptual development of the idea was complicated by the realization that the Western model librarianship set up by the colonial masters failed to gain firm foothold in Africa. This was largely because western librarianship did not take in to account the ways in which traditional Africans stored and disseminated information i.e. the oral tradition. K.N.L.S. Tharaka Nithi therefore aims to tackle a difficult and multifaceted challenge through architecture.

Popis projektu

K.N.L.S. Tharaka Nithi is a modern public library located in rural Kenya. It is a large complex with a variety of spaces, each responding to a need identified during the research phase of the design. The variety of spaces are organized based on their relationship to each other and linked through circulation corridors and mid-air bridges. Yet, K.N.L.S. Tharaka Nithi is a Public Library in its own right. As a result, the main block, aptly named, the Reading and Learning Block, is a repository for books in the traditional sense, and a digital hub, in the modern sense. The result is an interconnected complex rich in variety and opportunity to explore the capabilities of design and information sharing within a rural African context.

Technické informace

Master Plan, Site Plan, Layout Plans, 3D Visualizations and Technical Drawings


I would like to thank my tutor Professor Robert Rukwaro, University of Nairobi Kenya, for his input and guidance during the development of the project.

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