Fifth year Students and Staff led by Prof. John Stephen Ellis from the Department of Architecture,
Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA are visiting the Department of
Architecture, University of Nairobi from Sunday, 17th September to 24th September 2023. While in
Nairobi, they are undertaking a week-long architectural study of Mathare in Nairobi as part of their
Architectural Studio together with our Fifth Year Students.
The study began on Monday morning, 18 th October 2023 with a four hour presentation by Prof. Tom
Anyamba and the Chairman of Deparment, Arch. Musau Kimeu entitled The History of Nairobi and a
Brief introduction to Mathare. This was followed by a tour of the Nairobi’s CBD facilitated by our
students in the afternoon. The tour began with Lunch at Kenwood House designed by Dr. Ernst May in
1937; one of the key buildings highlighted in the presentation and capped off at the Kenya International
Conference Centre (KICC).
Day two began with a tour of Mathare. The whole day was spent walking and interviewing the locals
around the various key streets and spaces led by Eric Nehemiah, a resident of Mathare and Founder &
Executive Director of Mathare Foundation who has a strong connection with the place through the
social work and community programs he runs in Mathare.
Day three involves a visit to a local architectural firm; Triad Architects located in Muthaiga during the
morning hours and a visit to UN Habitat offices in Gigiri in the afternoon.
Day four involves a second visit to Mathare whereas Day five is an all-day charrette with the
University of Nairobi students after which there will be presentations to the Mathare Community on the outcome of the week long study on Day six.