A winner has been chosen for a unique international design competition to masterplan and design a new eco-village for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya.

Edric Choo and his team from Malaysian architectural firm O2 Design Atelier (O2DA) won the One Heart Foundation competition from a pool of 45 entries spanning 21 countries, including Australia, the USA, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Estonia, South Africa and Kenya.

Choo’s team will work with Melbourne-based architectural firm Clare Hopkins Clarke to deliver the project.

Launched in October, the international design competition offered architects the life-changing opportunity to design a children’s village in the Provence of Soy, Kenya for the One Hear Foundation following the success of their first village in Turbo.  

The winning design achieves the competition’s two key objectives: to masterplan a holistic children’s eco-village with facilities such as homes, schools, farms and playing fields, and to create a unique design solution for each of these facilities.

Above: The Kenyan eco-village's story-telling pit
Below: A classroom at the village


“The inspiration behind the design was creating a place where the children who will live there could feel at home. We took reference from native architecture and local materials and created a setting where they could find a sense of belonging and happiness,” says Edric Choo.  

The completed village will provide homes to 100 orphaned children, first-class education to more than 500 local children, skills training to the surrounding community, and more than 50 local jobs. It will serve as a sister campus to the existing One Heart Village located nearby in Turbo which cares for 75 children and educates 200.