This study investigates multi-use spaces in learning institutions in order to draw key lessons to deal with the lack of sufficient resources as cited by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development necessary for development of institutions that allow development of skills, talents and interests. This has led to fierce competition in classroom learning instead of a focus on the acquisition of requisite knowledge and skills contributing to development of graduates who have not acquired adequate entrepreneurial skills for self-reliance. Subsequently, there is increased dropout rates and unemployment by students who feel they cannot compete. The investigation documents and analyses the history of multi-use spaces and its current trends in order to determine its appropriate application for sustainable development. The study’s scope was limited to primary schools in Nairobi as the Kenya Institue of Education (KIE) has cited primary schools as being the most dilapidated and overloaded.
Furthermore it as at this stage where students explore different fields of interests in search of identification of talent. Secondary data for was collected and analysed from existing literature, internet sources and academic journals while primary data was collected and analysed through documentation and analysis of the selected schools which are Kibera Hamlets Primary school, Moi Avenue Primary School, Kilimani Primary School, Kabiro Primary School and Nairobi Primary School.From the reviewed literature 4 parameters were found to be sufficient in analyzing the failure or success of a multi-use space. These included lighting, acoustic performance of the space that is its reverberation time, noise reduction coefficient that is the amount of outdoor sound that is transmitted to the space and material specification that is the material or finish selected for the floor, walls and ceiling of the space.
The research was carried out through the case study method. Fieldwork studies in the selected schools based on parameters obtained from the literature review revealed that: most of the schools had insufficient amount of daylighting illuminating the spaces, the reverberation time of the designed spaces was not good for the activities intended to take place, the noise from outdoor sources exceeded the minimum 30 decibels hence making the spaces uncomfortable, the spatial organization and selection furniture was not flexible enough to allow for multiplicity of use and finally the material selection for the floors and walls could not allow for multiplicity of use within the spaces.
Recommendations were hence drawn in the last chapter and they include: Use of rotating triangular wedges to allow for a varying acoustic experience, use of retractable screens to allow varied amount of light into a space, use of flexible furniture such as retractable bleachers and finally use of vegetation, mounda nad accent walls to screen outdoor noise.