African Design Magazine July 2016 - Page 88

Landsdowne Centre: The shopping centre is located in the heart of Karen, one of the more culturally steeped locations in Nairobi. Principally Rustic in nature with an emphasis on the use of stone and timber which gives it a feel of a by-gone era. The design we came up with chose to import a lot of qualities, while at the same time giving them an updated look. A modern take on the neo-colonial style of design. We achieved this by careful selection of our material palette: Wherever possible we used blue-gumpole walkways with exposed soffits, coupled with mazeras stone tiling as opposed to porcelain tiling. Externally we chose to go with coral stone cladding coupled with timber boarding and touches of mazeras to contrast with the textured render. The central atrium space was the principal organizing space, so we chose to create a small atrium garden, open three storeys to the roof. This lends an air of bringing the outside in. The Elegance: One of the more exciting projects we are currently handling, which won us an award at the recent AAK Awards for Excellence in Architecture earlier this year for Best Concept/Ongoing Project. The project showcases our interest in learning and working with new technologies, in this instance the use of a Steel Structure (as opposed to the pre-dominant RC structures favoured in the country), Specification of Thermal Controlled Glass, Semi-Automated stackable parking, green balconies among others. The design principle itself is fairly simple: the office floor level plates rotate at the centre by around 5 degrees clockwise with every additional floor akin to a deck of cards being fanned out from the centre, creating a unique and, what we hope, monumental commercial building design. 88