Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Leadership CenterNairobi
Design Narrative – The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is an Obama Administration initiative to prepare Africa’s next generation of leaders and strengthen connections between the United States and African nations. Central to this effort is DLR Group’s design for the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa as part of the Chandaria Business Incubation and Innovation Center building at Kenyatta University. YALI’s purpose is to improve the quality and availability of leadership training programs and professional development opportunities for young African leaders from Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. DLR Group and MASS collaborated on the design which is inspired by the idea that leaders continuously grapple with the ideas of relevance and balance. The concept explores the intersection of modern technology with traditional, indigenous materials and vernacular to create a collaborative learning environment that supports the active-learning approaches necessary to prepare students for today’s demanding work environments.
Scope Summary – This unique project entailed a complete tenant improvement of an 8,100-SF academic space on the campus of Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. The main program includes a lecture hall, a sandbox classroom, three technology rich seminar rooms, two large classrooms that have the ability to be divided into four smaller classrooms, and a main student learning commons fitted with a coffee/snack bar, and informal instructional spaces. These semi-public and semi-private spaces will be the domain for the students’ 12-week, rigorous curriculum concentrated on Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership and Public Engagement. This project was a collaboration of DLR Group with MASS Design Group and Deloitte Consulting for the U.S. Agency for International Development. DLR Group provided design and interior design services in collaboration with MASS Design Group who served as architect of record.