We’ve had a slightly busy end to 2016 and a slightly busy start to 2017: We handed over 4 projects over the last 2 months.
Its always a nice feeling to hand over a project. It signals the end of a journey, both personal and professional. Each project is unique, and with that comes its own unique challenges and opportunities.
The contrast in the personality of a building from another is stark: each building is informed by its own unique requirements and characteristics, so its only expected that the character of the building should be shaped and moulded by these factors. The result is a structure that is uniquely different from any other.
Case (or cases, as it were) in point are three of the projects we handed over last year: Oshwal Residency Apartments on Oshwal Rd, South Cote Apartments on 2nd Parklands and Amaresa Apartments on Githuri RD.
Oshwal Residency Apartments:
The smallest of the three projects, the brief was to design small studio and 2 bedroom units for the Oshwal Community. These were to be rent-subsidized to community members and served as the ideal location, bearing in mind its proximity to the nearby temple across the road. The major challenge with the site was the size: it was a ¼ acre plot and had TWO building lines, it being situated on a corner plot. The end result meant that space was at a bit of a premium. Maximum efficient utility of the land meant tha the design would end up being…well..a box really. What we did manage to do was work on the elevations subtly, with a change in colour and a slight extension of the slab in certain areas on alternate floor to break the monotony of the design. The end result, to quote the client, was ‘a box…but an extremely pretty box!’
South Cote Apartments:
Located on 2nd Parklands avenue, the scheme comprised of 28 4 bedroom apartments. The site was roughly rectangular, with the shorter edge of the rectangle facing the road. This resulted in a little challenge, as in order to create some sense of dynamism within the elevation design we had to use the smaller façade, as opposed to the longer one. What we eventually decided to do was manipulate the support beams around the corner, to create the effect of a series of small ribbons that start off by curving around the corner, tucking into the wall, and resurfacing at the opposite corner. Similar to a weaving loom. The idea of a minimalist façade appealed to us so we tried deliberately not to affect the façade any more, except by including a change in render color, and the use of mazeras slit cladding to highlight one of the vertical elements.
These were one of the first apartment designs we had done as AMA-Kenya. The site itself is also rectangular (albeit with a slight skew towards the North) with the North side opening out into a beautiful view of the Karura forest, and the Southern side getting a fantastic view of the Parklands suburb, and further the CBD. The design is ‘U’ shaped, leaving one block entirely facing the forest view, and two blocks getting the City view. The material palette chosen was mainly textured render (Grey and White), which we chose to contrast with black mazeras slits. Once again the juxtaposition of the two textures served to highlight the verticality of the building, making it seem taller than it was. For the North façade, we chose to exacerbate the verticality by fracturing the relatively wide elevation: using the natural skew of the site allowed us to create two lines of action: one parallel to the plot boundary and one perpendicular to the side plot boundary, leading to a variegated elevation featuring elements that were pulled in and pushed out.