The Elegance…breaking ground in Feb 2016
We’re really excited about this one! There’s a couple of reasons why. Actually, more than a couple:
1. We tend to be better known for our work with Apartment Schemes, which is really not that surprising considering our current and completed portfolio (Crystal Edge, Solitaire, Cascades, White Oak, South Cote, Oshwal Park to name a few), so it’s a refreshing change for us to get to design a purely commercial building.
2. The design of the building. The design principle is fairly simple: the office floor level plates rotate at the centre by around 5 degrees clockwise with every additional floor. It’s a little like a deck of cards being fanned out from the centre. We think it’ll look brilliant, but then again we would. The only challenge with this system is the sheer length of the cantilevers at the upper floors. Which lead us to ask if maybe the structural skeleton needed to be rethought…which lead to us rethinking a lot about the building itself, and how we could make it better and more efficient. So now, we’re working with systems that we’ve never worked with, and quite frankly are fairly new to the Kenyan market. Starting with the structure of the building itself…
3. Speaking of the structure, we’re going with a Steel structure, as opposed to the traditional RC beams and columns. Steel structures are the MO for most parts of the world for high rise structures, but there are only a handful of high rise buildings in Nairobi using Steel. There’s an inherent sense of excitement about this for us. Its akin to receiving a new toy and finally getting the wrapping up and starting to see what it really can do! Huge cantilevers and more expressive forms seems to be the answer to that question, along with a fair amount of speed of structure erection.
4. Semi-automated stackable parking. Yes. The future is here. The idea is pretty simple: cars parked on other cars. Well, to be precise, cars parked on automated raisable platforms allowing additional cars to park under them. And it’s automated. Push a button and within 40 secs you get in your car.
5. Thermal controlled glazing solutions. We’re dabbling in the selection of the exact specification of glass that we want to use for each façade of the structure to maximize efficiency of the glazing façade in terms of how much light is let in, and how much of the heat is kept out. We’re quietly confident that we will not be needing mechanical ventilation, even for spaces that have glazed facades on the east and west.
Really looking forward to this, as you can tell. Will keep posting with updates!