2018 Public Choice Award for Offices:
The Landscape Studio

Recognition: 2018 Public Choice Award for Offices


The Landscape Studio is a landscape architecture and design firm based between Nairobi in Kenya and Barcelona, Spain. The studio was founded in 2013 and has already created solutions for a diverse portfolio of projects around East Africa and more recently in Europe; planning and design of academic and residential, corporate, institutional and mixed-use, parks, […]

See all LILA recognitions 2016 -

The Landscape Studio is a landscape architecture and design firm based between Nairobi in Kenya and Barcelona, Spain. The studio was founded in 2013 and has already created solutions for a diverse portfolio of projects around East Africa and more recently in Europe; planning and design of academic and residential, corporate, institutional and mixed-use, parks, streetscape and urban improvement as well as agricultural schemes.

The quality of the spaces we live in have a direct effect on our perception of the world and our quality of life. We see a world where the spaces in which we interact with our natural environment are mutually beneficial for the ecosystem and the people that inhabit it. We want to take part in the creation of new paradigms for these spaces, where urban, rural and natural can co-exist in a healthy balance.

Our practice comes with an acute sense of responsibility. We aim to produce fair and sustainable solutions that can stand the intensity of change in our times, whilst providing liveable spaces that can age with beauty and dignity. Landscape architecture plays a crucial role for future sustainable development, healthy populous communities and the possibility of conservation of diversity of flora and fauna within a new common environment; the urban landscape. This approach is especially relevant in places of rapid growth in population and development, such as the African continent.

We provide adequate landscape design solutions that balance the environmental and geographical attributes of the site, the architecture, and the requirements of the project.

Observation of the existing conditions and understanding the context are fundamental to our approach. We take into consideration cultural and historical references, and consider all stakeholders, promoting environmental education and community participation. This open and methodical exercise allows for responsible designs that capitalise both on the individuals that will live in these spaces, and the broader landscape.

We strongly believe that there is beauty in simplicity. That lucid, soft gestures can provide elegant and timeless spaces. That these spaces can host nurturing experiences and build lasting memories.

Tabora Hermitage

Location: Tabora, Tanzania / Size: 5acres / Architects: N/A / Client: Father Patrick-  The Catholic Archdiocese of Tabora Archbishop’s House / Private Bag, Tabora, Tanzania 

The project seeks to provide the design for the gardens of an urban hermitage located in Tabora, a small town north-east Tanzania and part of the Central Zambezian Miombo Woodland ecoregion. 

“[…] a desert away from the noise and concerns of the world.” 

“The vision of the Hermitage is to bring other voices, noises and stimuli to silence, so as to be able to hear the often delicate and subtle whisper of God’s
voice. And God’s presence may be experienced in a magnificent old Mango tree, or blooming shrub, or the exertions of a honeybee. Some diversity of experiences is desirable so that the Hermitage, including its gardens, is a 

The word “hermit” comes from the Greek and means a person dwelling
in the desert. The desert need not be literal, and defined by rainfall. Rather a
desert away from the noise and concerns of the world. 

The primary uses of the garden are: 

  1. Inspiration and beauty 
  2. Contemplation – like a mediation path. 
  3. Being partially or wholly self-sustaining in fruits, vegetables and
    honey. 
  4. Simple Exercise – walking. 
  5. The opportunity to do at least some simple work with hands- like
    weeding and pruning. St Benedict says a monk must do some manual labor to stay grounded. 

Places for walking, meditating, reading, studying, staring off into space. Privacy and Quiet. 

The design of this project is based entirely on creating a moving meditation so is made up of series of paths, an orchard garden and then most of the site dedicated to the establishing of the rare local Miombo woodland ecology, so we are re-foresting the site, one seed at a time.

Mustardseed

Location: Sentema, Uganda / Size: 40 acres / Architects: LocalWorks / Client: Friends of Mustardseed

“Mustardseed’s mission is to provide an inspirational and practical education for young children, encouraging them to flourish and prosper in Uganda and the wider world.” 

A holistic educational proposal including various outdoor teaching opportunities and an architectural proposal built using all locally sourced materials. We are using earth extensively in the design (sourced from site) and stabilising it naturally with lime to create long term hardscape solutions to allow the 300 children to use the various amenities with hard-wearing vigour. 

As well as the outdoor teaching and congregating areas improving the biodiversity of the site was key. We have included extensive tree planting on the main school site as well as the client purchasing two additional plots of land. One, the conservation site will be used purely to reforest the area and allow an educational space for increased biodiversity to flourish. The other site is used as a sustainable timber plantation zone as a community outreach project, demonstrating indigenous trees which can be used for timber (cooking/ building) but are beneficial to the water table, the health of the soil and the associative fauna. 

Falkenberg

Location: Masaii Mara, Kenya / Size: 1 acre / Architects: Barnaby Ghaui / Client: Falkenberg Family

A small residential project in the Masai Mara, where are interventions are simple but explore using a locally found sustainable sourced red stone. The complete planting palette is all using a totally indigenous palette sourced from seed from a 5 km radius from the site a very important sustainable concept ensuring that our garden enriches the ecosystem and supports the existing soil structures and fauna. 

SandRiver

Location: Masaii Mara, Kenya. / Size: 5 acres / Architects: N/A / Client: Elewana Collection

A very remote lodge where we had to be sensitive to the existing conditions and the vegetation on the site. We designed a series of terraces and circulation routes for the various requirements of the tented camp. We worked with a locally found stone, which is reddish/ grey in colour and slate-like in form. We used it on its edge to ensure it was strong enough for the occasional wandering elephant to not split the stone, ensuring the longevity of the design. 

It’s crucial working in protected areas that all use of the material is as environmentally sensitive as possible. We worked with all of the existing shrubs and trees and fitted the requirements of the design with what we found on site. We did not cut one single shrub! For any planting which we had to do, we used native species which we grew from seed and planted on-site once established. 

This project illustrates how with care and acute sensitivity of the landscape even interventions in conservation zones can be totally respectful of the existing vegetation and allow for more intense human use, sustainably.

Miotoni

Localisation: Langata, Nairobi, Kenya. / Dimensions: 5 acres / Client: Vadera

When we came to site we inherited lots of problems as the architect had mis placed the house and the front door opened onto a 6 metre high bank of soil. We had to design a series of terraces and steps to allow a nice access down to the front door. With so much hardscape we had to find a way to use stone in a cost effective way. In the end we used quarry waste material for all of the stone cladding and flooring. 

The client wanted orchards all the way throughout this garden and we planted forests of cherry guava trees to soften the hardscape areas. These are underplanted with daises and wild strawberries for a delicate finish to the entrance. 

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