This final exhibition in the series The Architect's Studio takes a dive underground and into the extensive volcanic cave systems of Kenya. Here the design studio Cave_bureau take a look back to the origins of humanity and examine the future, while simultaneously finding concrete solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time.
The volcanic caves of Kenya bear unique evidence of the country’s history and heritage. From here the studio Cave_bureau confronts the challenges of modern lives from an African perspective, in which decolonisation takes precedence over decarbonisation as the caves are now a source of geothermal energy, which plays such a huge role in global green transition.
Using the caves as a basis, Nairobi-based Cave_bureau devises installations, films and proposals for architectural interventions in the landscape under the heading ‘The Anthropocene Museum.’
Kabage Karanja & Stella Mutegi, Cave_bureau
Cave_bureau 3D scans the caves, before translating the shapes into installations and architecture. These form the framework for proposals: for example, ‘Cow Corridor’, a restoration of the Masai’s migratory trails through Nairobi and a harvesting of water for wildlife and nature around the caves. All the projects also discuss what a museum of African culture might look like in the Anthropocene age – the epoch, in which the influence of humans on nature has become all too apparent.
A woven wonder
In the Great Hall, a huge woven sculpture is presented, depicting a full-size reproduction of the Shimoni Cave in eastern Kenya. The work is a joint project with Prof. Phil Ayres from the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at the Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation in Copenhagen, applying his research into Kagome weaving and the development of digital tools that can generate weave patterns to realise complex geometries.
The spaces of Cave_bureau
Louisiana Channel visited Kenya and the founding architects of Cave_bureau to learn how they challenge traditional understandings of architecture and colonial structures.
The Architect's Studio
This is the sixth and last exhibition in the series The Architect’s Studio, which has focused on a new generation of pace-setting architects who work with sustainable and socially aware architecture and face the challenges of globalization.
2017 The exhibition series opened with Chinese practice Amateur Architecture Studio, led by Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu.
2018 The exhibition So Far… with the Chilean architect and the Elemental studio.
2019 The third exhibition in the series featured the work of Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao
2020-21 The museum presented the Indian architect Anupama Kundoo
2022 An exhibition with Forensic Architecture and their attempts to unearth, map and supply evidence about conflicts and crimes throughout the world