Raising Malawi Academy for Girls

New York, NY

The Raising Malawi Academy for Girls is a 100-acre residential campus for 450 students ages 12 to 18. A loosely woven pattern inspired by local textiles provides a framework for arranging plantings and buildings as well as for water, vehicle, and pedestrian circulation networks.  The campus itself will be a pedagogic tool for teaching resource conservation, agrarian, and environmental studies. DLANDstudio led the site master planning, storm water management, agriculture and garden design. The social and spatial context, local ecology, topography, microclimate, programmatic needs, cultural rituals of school children, and the role of agriculture in education are critical in the design of an evolving landscape that inspires learning and research.  Studies at campus nurseries will include medicinal properties of indigenous species planted on the site and plant propagation techniques and permaculture gardening. Constructed wetlands that recycle black-water for all-site irrigation and seasonally activated, planted drainage swales help protect the landscape from soil erosion and flooding during Malawi’s three months of intense rainfall. Riparian plantings reinforce existing gullies, emphasizing contrast between these verdant corridors and the surrounding dry scrub.

Project designed in collaboration with studioMDA