Bungoma Housing Project / Samantha Kollmeyer + Kit Kollmeyer

Bungoma Housing Project / Samantha Kollmeyer + Kit Kollmeyer

Construction for Change, a non-profit in the United States, focuses on building the necessary infrastructure to sustain impoverished communities’ needs. Kit and Samantha Kollmeyer were asked by the CFC to design housing for the One Acre Fund in Bungoma, Kenya to provide a new facility for the growing organization. The One Acre Fund hopes to expand the number of families they provide aid to, from 12,000 families to 33,000 families in the next two years, so this husband and wife team was brought in to design a new headquarters consisting of office and classroom space, and two-bedroom housing units for in-country volunteers.

More about the Kollmeyer’s project after the break.

The site offers different obstacles the Kollmeyers had to reconcile such as the fact that in Bungoma, rain can reach nine inches per day and due to the site’s placement directly on the equator, there are sun tracks on all four sides of the building. But, the Kollmeyers even addressed “unusual” client needs, such as minimizing the “clucking of chickens”, the main source of noise, by having only a few windows face out to the site.

The Kollmeyers, having virtually no access to the site and having never been to Kenya, began designing the housing to respond to the climatic data of the area and the One Acre Fund’s needs.

“We opted for a courtyard design, with the focus of all living, sleeping, and kitchen space being directed inward to the center of the home. A structural core of CMU block provides strength for the center of the home, with brick infill enclosing the rest of the spaces, allowing us to cut construction costs. Pitched roofs shed rain while promoting passive cooling by directing hot air out high vents strategically placed at the top of the roof pitch. A horizontal trellis overhead in the court provides an opportunity for plant life to grow and help trap and produce cool air through evaporation while providing the requested security. Tall, screened windows in the exterior walls provide ventilation and additional light, while the larger, operable windows give views to the outside,” explained the team.

The light and open central courtyard provides a safe place for its inhabitants and serves as an extended living space for the home.  The plants covering the trellis will help control the climate of the home by providing shade and when the evaporation vapors rise, it creates a cooling effect.  Plus, a channel installed in the courtyard and the design of the pitched roof minimizes the effects of a potential flood.

Construction will begin in January of this year when Connor Dinnison and Dave Betts, the project managers, travel to Kenya to begin assembling a construction team and finding material suppliers. The team will have six months and a total budget of $100,000 to build all five homes.

Credits: All Imagery by Sam and Kit Kollmeyer


One Acre Fund



Construction for Change


Construction Team:

Construction for Change

Connor Dinnison, Project Manager

Dave Betts, Project Manager

Design Team:

Kit and Samantha Kollmeyer

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About this author
Cite: Karen Cilento. "Bungoma Housing Project / Samantha Kollmeyer + Kit Kollmeyer " 19 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/46835/bungoma-housing-project-samantha-kollmeyer-kit-kollmeyer> ISSN 0719-8884

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