Kenyan Learning Center Decorated with 70,000 Bottle Caps

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Photo: Charles Newman

Photo: Charles Newman

On the surface, the Greystone Learning Center in Loita Hills, Kenya is an architectural triumph, blending traditional art, culture and design with modern construction. But the project’s dazzling impact only grows with closer examination, as more than 70,000 bottle caps weave together to reveal a symbol of the local Maasai people.

Created as a large-scale interpretation of customary Maasai jewelry, the facade of the structure is a symbol of community pride, while the learning center’s Wi-Fi-enabled computer lab connects the remote, rural area with the rest of the world.

Earth911 spoke with architect Charles Newman, who conceived the bottle cap design in partnership with the organization Under the Acacia, to learn more about the project, the Maasai people and how a bit of community-minded reuse made a huge difference.

Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.