The Black Rhino Academy Masterplan is a multi-phased campus comprising a primary and secondary school, dormitories and sports facilities located in Karatu, Tanzania. The 7 hectare hilly site is situated just outside of the Ngorongoro Crater conservation area, surrounded by rich natural vegetation and abundant wildlife.
The buildings and campus are organised through a planning principle vested in the region for millennia – the Iraqw/Masai Boma. Organised in a circle, these villages typically consists of multiple buildings that are connected by thorn bushes forming a protective belt around the village.
The school program, schedule and activities are divided into three ‘Islands’; Live, Learn, Play. These are interconnected by a protective pathway, creating a safe yet open environment protected from and yet within the wildlife.
The Live Island is located in the most environmentally favourable location on site – to ensure the best living conditions for the children, fundamental for learning. The dormitory buildings aim to create a protective environment where children can study in the evening, play in the afternoon, enjoy the free time in weekends and, perhaps most importantly, feel ‘at home’. The Learn Island has classrooms which are set on the sloping landscape interacting with nature. The school hall is a simple yet iconic building that overhangs above the natural slope that forms an amphitheater. The Play Island includes the sports field and is located on the only flat area of the site. The rest, an undulating playscape where children can live their imaginations.
The Black Rhino Academy aims to provide a visual and experiential environment that promotes joyful & innovative learning experiences and instills the value of excellent education in the children and in the overall community.