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Hope and Care for Children - Liberia



Site type: 


Site function: 


2 ha


Annual Precipitation:

1400 - 3000 mm


Af - Tropical rainforest climate


Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests


West African Coastal Forests & Savanna Bioregion

Just recently the orphanage for open care for children was flooded out in another part of Liberia. The non-profit moved the orphanage to another area and built new dormitories and classrooms. This new land was also in a floodplain, but less likely to have severe damage. United Designers had to incorporate flood management and use as much of the relatively dry land for food production and education. 

Expansion of the buildings to provide services was also taking up more land, so we had to be extremely efficient on how we used the land and have an integrated system with the rest of the architecture. The orphanage services 200 students while housing 20 permanent residents. Activity areas for outdoor Sports and functions are extremely important, thus managing the space requires reserving adequate production plots while providing outdoor spaces. 

Planted berms were incorporated along the outer perimeter of the property towards the river to deter small flooding events. Trees and shrubs along the riverside to increase the amount of silt deposited during the flood times and raise the soil level. Large scale floods would raise the grade of the soil allowing for further protection from smaller flooding events.   

Features on the landscape for the orphanage included:

  • Biomass production area for soil amendments

  • Food production areas for daily vegetables and grains.

  • Orphanage gardens for the education

  • Banana and Citrus Grove

  • Perennial gardens near buildings for security and drainage

  • Cashew and rubber trees to cool south side of buildings.

  • Composting Area

  • Biogas Production Area.

  • Root crop and onion planting area.

  • Swale and berm elevated areas for water management.

  • Managed entrance areas, parking, and student activity spaces.

  • Additional perimeter tree areas.


United Designers Int.



Daniel Halsey


Founder and Head of Design & Education

Let's talk and build a plan

for the future

Natural Capital Plant Database
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