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FEB / MAR 2017

Contemporary Classicism Morphosis Campus in Syokimau Towering Gender Disparity by Design – Architect Shamla Fernandes Why Timber? Ten Years of Creative Evolution – Design Source Ltd

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Buildesign Magazine Ι Issue 023/2017

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Buildesign Magazine Ι Issue 023/2017


Buildesign Magazine Ι Issue 023/2017


PUBLISHER'S NOTE

W

hile we are halfway through the first quarter of the year, it is not too late to wish all our readers a Happy New Year, this being our first edition of 2017. The BUILDesign Magazine team is energized and ready to bring you even more content that will not only entertain you, but also broaden your mind, inspire and inform you. 2016 was a particularly fascinating year for us. We reviewed a variety of buildings including art centres, industrial buildings, residential houses, commercial buildings and hospitality facilities. We also had conversations with some inspirational architects whose stories we shared. 2017 can only be better and it is exciting for us, looking at what we have planned for you throughout the year. 2017 is also an important year for the country, and closer home, to the community of built environment professionals. The Architectural Association of Kenya will be holding elections for members of its main Governing Council and for councils throughout its various chapters. Later in August, Kenyans go into one of the most contested election of all times to decide on the leadership that would drive the main agenda of the country and its people for the next five years. Elections are important because they give people power. Through them, people elect leaders who will represent them and make a lot of decisions and take actions on their behalf. It is only through elections that you have an opportunity to choose who you would like to represent you. Elected leaders can be heroes of transformation or be barriers to effective change. There are therefore a number of factors that are in play in making a decision on who to elect, key among them, the person’s ability and willingness to serve with your best interest at heart. It is therefore important for all take part in this process that determines the leadership of the association and the country at large. To cap it all, the Architectural Association of Kenya is celebrating its Jubilee anniversary this year to mark 50 years since it was formed back in May 1967. The association has lined up a number of activities which will culminate in its annual convention in Mombasa in October this year. Our team will be at hand to document this special occasion for the built environment professionals. Have a great year ahead. Arch. Martin Tairo

Publisher: BUILDesign Africa Ltd Howse & McGeorge Centre P.O.Box. 60540-00200, Nairobi info@buildesign.co.ke Distributors: Jetsam Distribution Ltd Mai Mahiu Rd, Off Lang’ata Rd info@jetsamdistribution.com www.facebook.com/BUILDesignKE www.twitter/BUILDesignKE www.instagram.com/buildesign/ Copyright ©: Architecture Kenya Media Ltd

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Buildesign Magazine Ι Issue 023/2017

Publisher:

Martin Tairo tairo@architecturekenya.com

Editor:

Wendy Kinya wendy@buildesign.co.ke

Assistant Editor:

Julie Bungei julie@buildesign.co.ke

Marketing Executive:

Felister Mugambi felister@buildesign.co.ke

Technical Assistant:

Brian Munene brian@buildesign.co.ke

Design & Layout:

Raphael Mokora dockrapho@gmail.com

Photos:

BUILDesign Team info@buildesign.co.ke Morphosis Ltd info@morphosis.co.ke

Contributors:

Advertising:

Stephen Lutta Eric Loki Nyambura Nugi Irene Wanjiku Samuel Kerongo Chandresh Raithatha (+254) 722 387 110 (+254) 720 650 898 (+254) 725 075 993

DISCLAIMER No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear or for any consequences of using the information contained herein.


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CONTENTS

CONTENTS 10

18 10

MAIN FEATURE The Morphosis Campus

18

FEATURED ARCHITECT Shamla Fernandes

22

MATERIALS Timber Series

26

COMPANY PROFILE Design Source at Ten

38

ARCHITRAVEL Dubai

26 6

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38


EDITORIAL

I

t’s a great time to think globally but act locally. With the Africa Green Building Summit 2017 taking place in Nairobi this March, players in the building industry ( particularly designers) have a unique opportunity to engage with colleagues from other countries on the sustainability agenda and especially the green building rating tool for Africa, which is one of the major discussions set to take center stage during the summit. The theme, Financing Sustainable Development Goals, targets the future growth of our continent which is home to world’s fastest growing cities. According to New Climate Economy, urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa will host over 800 million more people by 2050. To enable all these people to access proper housing and coexist harmoniously with nature, we need to reinvent the way we build. A concerted effort towards meaningful adoption of sustainable design will directly result to health, well-being, clean energy, industry and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, innovative infrastructure and overall climate change. Visit the africagreenbuildingsummit.com to learn how you can become a delegate and attend the convention. Going off the sustainability topic, studies have repeatedly shown that well designed buildings, with ample natural lighting and proper ventilation are not only easy to maintain, they also improve the performance of the users. An existing proof to this theory is the new Morphosis Campus in Syokimau. Defined by sleek modern facades with bold clean lines, floor to ceiling clear glass windows and open transitional zones, the complex exhibits a dynamic approach to 21st century style and elegance absent of opulence and extravagance. The Morphosis staff also get to exclusively enjoy an in-house gym, a swimming pool, sleeping quarters, a bar and a restaurant among many other recreation facilities fitted in the campus. We have the complete story on page 10.

Gender equality within the architectural profession is still a mirage. As of 2016, only 18% of AIA membership was female with a 2% increase from the year 2012. In another study, results of the 2016 Women in Architecture survey worldwide revealed that more than one in five women would not recommend a career in architecture. A lot of progress needs to be made to change these alarming statistics, and one way is to tell stories of the successful practicing women who have made it in this tough industry. We have Architect Shamla Fernandes gracing our Architect Profile section in this issue. She is the founder and the lead architect at Shamla Fernandes Architects, the 17 year old practice that has handled major projects like the Westend Towers along Waiyaki Way, Crowne Plaza hotel in Upperhill, Crossroads Karen shopping centre, Sea link office park and many others. Get to know Shamla better through her story on page 16. It’s been 10 years since Design Source launched into the practice of architecture. Last year, the firm marked the anniversary in a cocktail event and this year they continue to celebrate the aluminum. Find our review on the firm’s journey over the years in the pages to follow. As always, we’ve also lined up incisive expert reviews on environment, technology, materials, industry trends and so much more. Thank you for your continuous support throughout the last year. We are excited to continue walking this journey with you. We now release the 23rd issue of BUILDesign Magazine and the first of 2017 to you. Enjoy your read and do not hesitate to contact us via info@buildesign.co.ke with your comments, suggestions or questions. Happy New Year! Wendy Kinya

LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS

Irene Wanjiku Director, REXE Roofing

Nyambura Nugi Interior Designer, Zidaka

Eric Loki David, Architect Environmental Design

Samuel Kerongo Landscape Architect

Stephen Lutta, Architect & Travel Enhusiast

Chandresh Raithatha Director, Waterways Africa

Buildesign Magazine Ι Issue 023/2017

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MAIN FEATURE

Contemporary Classicism – The Morphosis Campus in Syokimau

S

elf-inspired by the minimally partitioned spaces, recreation facilities including a swimming pool, a gym, a lounge, a restaurant, a library, pool table deck and sleeping quarters, the Morphosis Campus is redefining the creative arts work place. Design Concept In an interview with BUILDesign Magazine, Mor-

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phosis founders and current directors, Architects Yasir Brek and Adnan Mwakulomba explained that design of the new campus was inspired by the initial vision behind the establishment. “We wanted to establish a movement of creative architecture. The name Morphosis was derived from the change we desired to bring in the creative part of architecture in the region. Change is a progressive thought process, a non-stop transformative journey that goes beyond the lifetime of an indi-


MAIN FEATURE

vidual. That is what we wanted Morphosis to embody. A journey that does not end with any specific person, a movement that continues to change how the built environment influences the lives of people.� Yasir explains. To facilitate the creative process for the company’s intended goals, the firm needed a bigger office from their first premises, 80sqm rented space in Kili-

mani. The options were to either buy or rent a space in or close to the CBD or build their own house. At the time, the firm had started a residential development in one of their properties in Syokimau, a gated community with four mansionates in a half acre piece of land whose foundation had already been laid. The idea to transform the development into a mixed use office space cum residential, maintaining the

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MAIN FEATURE

1,100

200

4,000

200

4,782

3,868

3,900

200

4,350

200

4,000

200

9,871

200

450

8,500

200

1,650

200

200

200

5

6

7

8

9

10 11 12 13

Line of slab at +2,700

Down

LOUNGE

WASHROOM&WIC

4

SHR

9

10 11 12 13

closet

2

100

1

Up

Down

4,000

MAIN BOARDROOM

200

200

2,500

BEDROOM 1

600

BEDROOM 2

14

1,100

3

SHR WHB

PRAYER ROOM

200

1,000

Void

STAIRCASE E 2[180]+270=630 Riser=18014 Tread=270 Nosing=30

1

5,167

3 2

Up

200

4

BEDROOM 3

5,050

WC

WHB

3,100

TERRACE 3,500

Void

Line of slab at +3600

1,100

200

1,650

closet

Connec

3,050

4,200

150

1,400 200

3,300

WC

IT WORKSTATIONS

3,700

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

12,500

VOID

200

5,300

9,450

200

5,400

200

5,000

250

3,600

3,600

3,600

2,800

ADMINISTRATION Void

8,525

4

3

9

250

FIRST FLOOR PLAN

14

Down

200

2,250

SERVER ROOM

F_ D T6 22

1,550

1,100

FINANCE

Void

3,855

4,550

200

7,350

1,100

8

4,450

1,405

3,150

(Studio_Desk_02 Below)

13 12 11 10

Void

(Presentation/Exhibition area below)

Void

TERRACE

CORRIDOR

1,155

Up

1

7,150

1,650

+3,150

PLANTER

3,850

1,200

F_ D T6 21

200

2

1,350

4,100

_Bridge

+2,700

STUDIO 2,100

1,300

7,050

200

WC

1,400

WC/SH

6,050

MASTER BEDROOM

Void

200 2,250

14,200

9

1,100

F_ T 2 W0 3

10 11 12 13

14

Down

CORRIDOR

F_ D T6 23

3,800

3,620

4,400

400

2,000

(Studio_Desk_02 Below)

8,650

4

3

2

F_ D T6 26

8,950

F_ D T6 25

1

Up

F_ D T6 24

BEDROOM 2

LOUNGE

BEDROOM 3

+2,700 Area=14.25 m2

WC/SH Area=3.5 m2

150

1,400 200

3,300

200

200

1,100

200

4,600

initial concept of breaking barriers in a social set up with shared workspace free of individual identity emerged and so in 2014, the original design was revised to allow for construction of the complex. “As architects, we have a responsibility to define how society behaves. In the recent past, architecture has largely contributed to selfish, individualistic behavior in people since buildings are designed with extremely private spaces and that is not how people should live” asserts Adnan. Design Features According to Yasir, transparency, openness and sharing are among the key values promoted at Morphosis and that was largely translated in the design. Taking full advantage of the surrounding views, the clear glass facades lend the entire building lightness with their transparency, also forming an essential part of the lighting arrangement. The two architects also believe that less polished

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MAIN FEATURE

aesthetics characterized by open transitional zones, wide plain hallways and staircases naturally lit all day, provide more freedom and a great experience for the creatives. “The need to move your body by taking the stairs or going in search of caffeine allows the mind to wander and refresh” explains Architect Yasir. “Exposure to natural light itself contributes to improved workplace performance” he adds. The design is also reminiscent of the Neolithic architecture, containing high ceilings, stonewalls, glass façade and terrazzo floors, all of which are design signatures of the cultural complexes. Nestled in the middle of residential developments, the Morphosis campus assumes the form of a flat roof block but in reality, the pitched roof is hidden under the elongated cantilevers. The bold clean lines that define its modern facades exhibit a dynamic approach to classicism presenting 21st century style and elegance. The simple structure has been built using affordable, all locally available materials in the spirit of redemption. “We decided to keep it simple just like the Bob Marley’s classic hit ‘Redemption’. It was only created using a guitar yet it remains a timeless proj-

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MAIN FEATURE

NOTES

ENTRY GATE

1. All dimensions to be read not scaled. 2. All dimensions are in millimeters unless otherwise stated. 3. PV denote permanent ven . 4. All windows to have permanent ven 5. Provide D.P.C under all ground

o

l.

6. All reinforced concrete works to be structural engineers details. 7. All sanitary works to conform to M.O.H health standards. 8. Where drainage pipes pass under built area,the pipes to be of cast iron type or encased in 150mm concrete surround. 9. Walls less than 200mm thick to have hoop iron at alternate courses. 10 . Heavy duty polythene shee -termite treatment to be provided on underground o 11. All materials and works to be approved on site. Any discrepancy to be referred to the architect.

96,000 Litres

Up

12. Depth of founda

15. The levels shown are architectural

3,000

o

i

FIRE NOTES. 1. All doors to have one hour . 2. All materials used in construc proof unless otherwise approved by the architect before installa .

200

4,350

200

1,700

100

1,600

3. Provide for r e 30m interval as directed by the MEP Engineer.

600 650

G_ D0 T2 2

4. All staircase should be constructed of proof materials as per architects spec.i

BEDROOM 4 +1080 Area=13 m2

7. Provide 3 x30mts hose reel per with shut o z .

u_wc

8.

BREAK-OUT Area=13 m2

RECEPTION/LOUNGE_01

u_wc 6

CORRIDOR

1,100

1,500 200

2,500

200

200

2,500

200

9,626

100

LOUNGE 1,590

4,550

9,726

1,379

WC

3,300

FILING ROOM

1,387

400

DINING

7,066

OPEN TO SKY

EXHIBITION/PRESENTATION AREA

±0.000 Area=16.6 m2

200

Line of slab above

SH

BEDROOM 5

200

4,063

Area=52 m2

3,821

MODEL MAKING

SHELVING STORAGE (FILING)

STUDIO ±0.000

G_ D1 T6 3

3,610

4,250

KITCHEN ISLAND

G_ W T1 03

±0.000

2,250

1,400

1,000

G_ D1 T6 4

1

10,750

200

2,414

2

±0.000 Area=44 m2

5

Down

Up 3,700

THE COPYRIGHT OF THIS DRAWING IS RESERVED USED ON THE SITE FOR WHICH IT WAS PREPARED UNLESS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY THE ARCHITECTS

2,814

Down

7b

1

2

3

4

5

6

No.

Up

DATE

Area=15 m2

WORKSTATIONS

3,800

Studio_Desk_02

±0.000 Area=64 m

REVISIONS

CORRIDOR

2

Area=28 m2

6,600

200

3,750

400

PARKING

TERRACE

1,020

G_ D0 T3 4

G_ W T3 04

200

200

2,300

±0.000 Area=20 m2

3,874

Studio_Desk_01

4

6

600 5,180

3,700

3,800

5

3

Down

2

1,606

G_ D0 T4 6

G_ D0 T4 7

-150

200

1

Water feature Bottom of water feature -600

2,950

4,437

±0.000

WC/SH 01 Area=3.2 m2

,3 no.

COPYRIGHT

2,856

3

4

.

9. Provide 3 x 5kg CO2 blanket at the restaurant kitchen.

Main Entry

3

o

1. Provide 3 x 9kg water 2. Provide 3 x 5kg Dry powder 3. Provide 3 x 5kg CO2 ex

1,284

6 5

8 7

4

2

271

Washrooms u_wc 1

2,225

DHOBI SINK

.

6. Provide adequate exit signs through out the building (illuminated).

PARKING

+1080

SH

e .

16. The Contractor needs to match the indicated levels with that of the Surveyor .

BUILDING LINE G_W01 T1

900

.

.

13. All construc code of prac . 14. All rooms without natural ven mechanical ven .

LAWN

LOUNGE & DINING

LANDSCAPING

Area=51 m2

L.R No 12715/2222 3,800

Area 0.2189 Ha [Approx]

5

4,450

7

4

4,550

8 9

200

10 11 12 13

14

Massage room

4,450

-600

JOB TITLE

RED_SYOKIMAU 2

3

6

200

1

washroom

CLIENT

MORPHOSIS LTD

GYM CLIENT'S SIGNATURE

DATE:

SHEET TITLE

GROUND FLOOR PLAN LAYOUT 150

G_ D0 T3 3

200 1,100

3,300

4,000

G_ D1 T6 7

KITCHEN

3,850

Store

200

1,400

F_ W T2 05

2,500

SWIMMING POOL

951

F_ W T1 05

200

G_ D1 T6 6

4,250

200

200

morphosis architecture+interiors

no.15 milimani , milimani road. p.o. box 2682 - 0202 nairobi - kenya. tel: +254 20 2729 888 fax: +254 20 2729 889 info@ morphosis.co.ke w w w .morphosis.co.ke

REVISION

DESIGNED DRAWN CHECKED SCALE DRG No.

GROUND FLOOR PLAN PROJECT No.

GSPublisherEngine 0.0.100.100

ect” explains Adnan. The floors for instance is all built using the usual Nairobi stone and terranes. Standard laminated glass was used on the walling and roof is built of parallel corrugated iron sheets. Sustainability Natural lighting is one of the striking features that one easily notices on entering the building. Floor to ceiling glass windows allow enough light into the building and hence no need to use artificial lighting during the day. Under ground water tanks have been fitted under the parking area for rain water harvesting. Most of the site is covered with greenery while the main building operates without air conditioning or heating, thanks to natural cooling and passive ventilation. Once complete, the complex will be outfitted with solar panels around the top of the building. It will run mostly off the power grid but it will use it as a backup electrical supply. “Overall, it’s a better experience - it’s more sustainable, it’s more economic. And, architecturally, it’s more interesting.’’ Arch. Adnan adds. The terrazzo flooring is almost impenetrable to moisture, requires minimal maintenance and it’s also very durable. The two storey complex sitting on 2000sqm

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ADNAN YASIR FO SK 1:100

UPDATES


MAIN FEATURE

comprises of two phases; Adorned with flexible seating areas, the first phase which is the office building consists of work stations, two lounges, two board rooms and prayer rooms fitted with modern office furniture ranging from sofas, chairs to privacy booths,. Phase two which is expected to serve as a social center consists of the gym, the pool table deck, the kitchen and the restaurant area which opens up to the swimming pool and the garden. Once complete, it will also have a laundry bay, four ensuite sleeping quarters, a research centre and public halls that can be converted into exhibition rooms, concert halls or auditoriums. The facility will be open for hire to event organizers and universities. Installations at large in parts of the campus include final touches on the gardens, overall finishing and furnishing. The entire project cost was very low achieved by using local artisans and materials and always reconciling it with the initial estimates. “Another reason for building the Morphosis campus was to prove that it is possible to construct a magnificent building on a low budget,� explains Yasir.

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THE ROOF DIARY

Roof Ventilation

F

or the home occupants to remain healthy and happy, the roof must also remain healthy, a hot roof is therefore an indication of an unhappy roof. Over the years, roof ventilation has been an area that continues to be overlooked which is counterproductive since the roof is the first line of defense for any building. Roof ventilation does not only affect the roof but has a direct impact on your home’s heating and cooling system. During the cold season, roof ventilation will release any heat collected in your ceiling space, if this does not happen, the heat accumulates causing your ceiling to crack and impact your roof negatively. In warmer seasons, the heat will be trapped causing unnecessary angst to the occupants. Another overlooked danger of a poorly ventilated roof and ceiling space is moisture build up. Without an escape channel for air, trapped moisture can significantly damage the substructure of your roof. Left unattended, mold and mildew could develop, nails will rust or even break affecting your roof deck. A properly ventilated roof and ceiling space will provide a heat escape, preventing these costly mistakes. Now that the dangers of poor ventilation are clear, you may wonder what exactly ventilation is. “Ventilate” comes from the Latin word for “to fan” this is the action of causing air to move. Therefore the principle of any efficient ventilation system on any type of building must provide a steady, high volume air movement channel. That means that the ventilation system used must be sized and positioned to provide a constant flow of air moving systematically in a constant direction. Important to remember is that the net free intake area of vents should be greater than the exhaust venting. There are several types of roof and ceiling ventilation methods and the one best method for your project should be discussed with your architect and contractor. The main types of ventilation system are:

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Irene Wanjiku • Soffit vents and ridge vents: These two systems work in tandem. To achieve the ideal air circulation, there must be a point of air entry and a point of air exit. The soffit vents are fixed under the eaves for air entry while the ridge vents run along the highest peak of the roof providing an escape route for hot air and moisture in the ceiling space. Installing one without the other would therefore be ineffective, a mistake commonly seen on various buildings. The reliable application method for the soffit vents involves making holes on the eave board and covering them up with a vents panels. • Gable vents: These are found on either end of your roof, both on the lowest and highest side of the roof to create the balance required for cold air entry and hot air displacement. Take a walk around your home and check if you have any of the above ventilation methods in place. If not, you need not to worry as this can still be done with minimal interference to the occupants, giving you and your roof a smile and a longer happier life. In the upcoming issue of BUILDesign magazine, we shall discuss different types of roofing products and the pros and cons of each type. The author is a roofing specialist most commonly known as ‘The Roofing Queen’ and Managing Director of Rexe Roofing Products Ltd. She can be reached via www.rexeroofing. com


ARCHITECT PROFILE

Towering Gender Disparity by Design

W

hile there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made to achieve gender equality within the profession, women have and continue to, substantially contribute to the field of architecture. In fact, an impressive number of female architects are the brains behind some of the greatest buildings worldwide as well as the leading and successful practices today. Courage, resilience, ambition, diligence and passion are some of the words that come close to defining what it takes for a woman to stand out in the tough male dominated industry. And we can confidently say that Architect Shamla Fernandes embodies all these values with a touch of elegance and a very well collected disposition.

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Born to two civil servants, Shamla grew up with a normal childhood in a multi-cultural society. Like many other children, she attended a government primary school and interacted freely with other children – both Western and African. “I studied in local public schools and at the time, there was a relatively mixed society. And I believe this was important in forming the person I am today – I’m a very proud Kenyan and that’s why I chose to study and practice here. Not being an indigenous Kenyan has never been something I consciously live with. My upbringing had a lot to influence me as to who I am, what I do and how I work.” Shamla recounts. Education & early career life Though she was born in Kisumu, her family moved to Nairobi when Shamla was still a child. She attended Kilimani primary school and later the Kenya High School


ARCHITECT PROFILE

Westend Towers for her secondary education. “I was not very certain of the career I wanted to pursue after high school. All I knew was that I wanted to go to the university and study something challenging that would lead to an interesting profession. Surprisingly, I was very good in Maths, not art. But while filling the university forms, architecture managed to trap me and I thought, why not? Alongside my other personal interests, I selected the course and joined the University of Nairobi in 1983 to study it.” she narrates. Despite being in a class with only two women and over thirty men, Shamla coped well at the university and she enjoyed studying architecture. She completed her studies in 1988 and landed her first job at Planning Systems Services Ltd two months after graduating. After working at PSS for two years, Shamla worked with Arteriors Architects for two years before moving to BeglinWoods Architects where she worked for six years before starting her own firm Shamla Fernandes Architects, where she has worked for the last17 years. According to Arch. Shamla, the success of Shamla Fernandes Architects is attributed

to the 10 years of experience she and her husband gathered while working at Planning systems, Arteriors Architects and Beglinwoods Architects. “At PSS, I was privileged to work with a great team under the guidance of architects Trevor Andrews and Jim Archer who were willing to teach you because from the university really, you know nothing about the real world.” Shamla identifies. Some of the projects she handled at PSS included the main building of the Australian Embassy in Nairobi and several hotel chains and lodges. “I had a particular interest in the practice of interior design as an architect when I moved to Arteriors Architects. Architecture and interior design are related, but they are also quite different and unique. I learnt a lot from Architect Simon Woods, especially how to merge the two disciplines” she explains. Shamla Fernandes Architects Besides personal and professional growth, the need to raise her young children was among the reasons why Shamla decided to start her own firm.

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ARCHITECT PROFILE

Imperial Court, Eldoret “Motherhood had a huge impact in the progression of my career. I had to actively and intentionally create time for my family and the most sensible decision was to start my own practice which would allow me to work and at the same time take care of my young family. It was easy to do both once I took control of my time,” Shamla asserts. Together with her husband, who is also her partner at Shamla Fernandes Architects, Shamla has handled multiple impressive projects since establishing the firm in 1999. “Our first project was an interior fit out of a four storey building” she recalls. This project was followed by several corporate and hospitality projects including alterations and new additions to the Fair View Hotel & Country lodge, the design of Crown Plaza Hotel and Annex, Sea link Building, the renovation of Yaya Centre parking space, the design and construction of West End Towers, Crossroads Karen Shopping Centre, International School of Kenya Commons Building and Mary mother of God church in Embulbul, Ngong among many others. A typical Mathematician, Shamla works with logic. She is largely disposed towards concepts and functionality of a space. On the other hand, her husband, is gifted where form detailing and aesthetics of a building are concerned. “We complement each other perfectly and that’s how we handle all our projects. We also strive to design buildings that are not similar in whatsoever way. The form and the layout is different for every project and every project at Shamla Fernandes Architects is special and unique in its own way. This is also what really inspires me; doing something new with every project, with its own set of requirements.” Shamla adds.

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Elgon Place, Nairobi “Despite the fact that Shamla Fernandes Architects is in transition at the moment, with the evolving systems in the practice of architecture globally, we want to ensure that this firm maintains values of uniqueness, transparency, reliability and accountability,” she adds. “We embrace sustainability, an emerging trend in the construction industry. Solar energy, for instance, has been incorporated in all our projects, as required by regulation, and we are always engaging with fellow consultants and other specialists in the design of green buildings as far as possible within the constraints of every project.” Industry Review “Although technology has positively influenced the training of architecture in institutions today, certain


ARCHITECT PROFILE

Crowne Plaza Hotel aspects need to be corrected in the schools. For instance, the lecturer to student ratio in most institutions is quite low; something that needs urgent attention. With the increased population of students in institutions today, the quality of training can be improved by increasing the number of the teaching staff.” Architect Shamla observes. “Corruption is another reality in the building and construction industry today. It’s unfortunate to see how a sacred profession like architecture has been ruined by its surge. The case of foreign firms taking up capital projects in the country while there are equally qualified local professionals is questionable.” she remarks.

you want and when you want it. Timing is everything.” Parting Shot “Delivering good projects on time and on budget as well as fulfilling the needs of the client is a principle that every architect should apply. Each project must be designed according to the client’s needs. We’ve had amazing designs that clients have rejected and we had to go back at the drawing board and start from the scratch to meet the desires of our clients. I would urge all the professionals in the construction industry to always listen to the client,” she concludes.

Advice to Students and Graduate Architects A wife, a mother and an architect with over 27 years’ experience having worked for ten years before starting her own firm, Shamla singles out experience and skills as key factors to establishing a successful practice. “Before you decide to start your own company, gain enough experience so that you can learn. It’s important to also know what

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TIMBER SERIES

Why Timber? Julie Bungei

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e all dream of having not only a beautiful modern house but also durable and one that can withstand all weather conditions. The materials used in a building play a major role in determining the durability of a house. With advanced technology today, there are thousands of materials across the world ranging from stone to steel, clay, rock, cement, bricks and even wood that one can consider when building a house. The diversification of building materials poses the question of the building materials suitable for a specific project. For instance, one would ask, why would I opt to use wood or timber instead of say, steel? And how significant is wood really in the construction process? Can the building and construction industry exist without timber? Good questions! In this article, we will explore timber as a building material, it’s pro and cons and how it has evolved over the years. Timber/wood has been used in the construction industry for thousands of years. The experts in the construction industry argue that timber is the lifeline of construction. This natural building material is affordable and versatile and hence it can be used in countless ways during and after the construction process. There are two classes of timber. We have the exotic timber; which is imported to a country and the indigenous

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timber that is native to a country. Timber is further categorized as softwood or hardwood. Softwood is characterized by its needle-like leaves, uncovered seeds, non-porous nature and the interminably green conifers. This category of timber include pine, ash, cedar, beech, birch, redwood, fir and spruce. Softwood can be used to make doors and windows, furniture and décor as well as roofing. Hardwoods on the other hand are usually deciduous, porous, have broad leaves and their seeds are covered. Oak, maple, mahogany, mvuli, rosewood, cherry and teak are a few examples of hardwoods. Hardwoods are mostly used in construction of walls, ceilings and floors. Most timber businesses in Kenya sell pine and cypress as softwood and mahogany and mvuli as hardwood. “Wood has been used since time immemorial with environmental friendliness, product performance, cost effectiveness and versatility being its major benefits. It is the cornerstone of the construction process, especially in creating form works that reinforce the slab during construction,” explains Pradip Shah, the Director of Timber Corner Ltd, a leading manufacturer of timber and timber products in Kenya. Compared to building materials such as stones, bricks, concrete, glass and steel, wood is and has been the most preferred construction material for centuries. Experts in the construction industry attribute this to its thermal properties. Timber dries and becomes stronger with rise in temperature unlike building materials such as steel. “You


TIMBER SERIES

wouldn’t need AC with wood because it moderates the temperature. For instance, when the weather is hot, wood makes the temperature cool and vice versa when the temperature is cold,” Pradip Shah remarks. Wood does not rust and therefore exceeds the expected service life span (50 years) in most countries. Despite this added advantage compared to steel, both have one mutual enemy, moisture. “Moisture causes decomposition of wood. Wood and wood products must therefore be treated before use in construction,” explains Pradip Shah. Flexibility is another reason why timber remains a go to material in construction sites today. It can easily bend without breakage and can be fabricated into all kinds of shapes and sizes. “Wood gives buildings a natural look as they can be shaped differently for almost all construction needs” Pradip Shah adds. In addition, wood has low heat conductivity compared to building materials such as steel, glass and aluminum. This feature makes wood suitable for wall covering and ceilings. Despite this, wood is highly flammable especially when dry. In terms of sustainability, wood is light, non-toxic, biodegradable and renewable. The fact that it’s also readily available explains why this traditional building material is the most preferred and still relevant

today. Wood also has the ability to absorb sounds and echoes and is therefore preferred in the construction of concert halls and studios. When we talk of wood, we cannot forget to mention the big elephant in the room-deforestation. This menace affecting many countries across the world is a key consideration for most timber manufacturing and retail industries. Some companies own several forests in Kenya where they plant and maintain trees to mitigate deforestation. This is an effort to replace every cut tree with two planted trees that are maintained for up to fifteen years. In as much as wood has several benefits in the construction industry, its main disadvantage is easy destruction by fire, moisture fungi and insect infestation. Preservation and treatment of wood for timber is therefore mandatory. “Wood treatment enhances its strength. “At Timber Corner Ltd, Tenalith Solutions, Pinotex Varnish and Wood care Varnish are some of the preservatives we use to keep off insects as well as to prevent splitting of wood.” explains Pradip Shah. In the upcoming edition of BUILDesign Magazine, we shall discuss engineered wood; Medium Density Fibre boards and Particle boards as the future of timber industry.

UNDER ONE ROOF BUILDING MATERIALS Cement Mabati Timber Blockboards Plywoods Hardboards Softboards Formica Wall panels Veneers Paints Water pipes Water tanks Doors Nails Barbed wire

Frames Windows Wield mesh Wheel barrows Locks Hinges Tools Steel rods Channels Angle iron Round bars Flat bars Furniture pipe Furniture fitting

Timber Corner Limited. P.O.Box 42651, Jirore Road, Industrial area. Tel: 556156, 557725,6556156,6557725. Cell: 0736668007, 0728333417. Email address:info@timbercorner.com


ENVIRONMENT

Daylighting Design Strategies for Nairobi - A Study of Top-lighting in two Buildings Eric Loki David

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ven though not a very common strategy in lighting large spaces, Nairobi exhibits a few cases which can provide an understanding of top-lighting in the region as mentioned earlier. Much of these are however used to light secondary spaces, especially stairwells in the form of translucent skylights. Very few cases employ top-light as the primary source of light with electrical lighting being preferred. Skylights (with translucent Perspex glazing) and clerestories are the most common forms of top-lighting in the city. The city market building, for example, (see image below) offers an interesting solution, with a stepped roofing system with clerestories. Light is reflected onto the concrete structure, providing daylight all day. The main library at the University of Nairobi employs ‘North lights’ over the stairwell. However, even with this intervention, electrical light is used all day. The ADD building housing the department of architecture and building science at the university on the other hand, perhaps presents another innovative top-lighting

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system, with sky-lights used to illuminate the two top levels of the deep-plan building. This article reports an analysis of two of these buildings: The ADD building and the main library building at the University of Nairobi. These two examples provide data representative of the current scenario as well as an opportunity to compare two different strategies. The ADD building was analyzed to a greater detail as it offers a top-lighting solution over a primary space as opposed to lighting of a circulation space in the case of Jomo Kenyatta Library. Architecture Design & Development (ADD) Building, University of Nairobi This building, named after the Architecture, Design & Development faculty of the University of Nairobi, and housing the Department of Architecture & Building science, is located at the edge of the city’s Central Business District. A recent extension provided for two light-wells to illuminate the deep studio spaces of the two new levels. The originally 4-storied structure required a top-lighting intervention to allow for two new additional floors less dependent on artificial lighting. The 21.6 meters deep spaces


ENVIRONMENT

Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library, UON

Architecture Design & Development (ADD) building, UON

could not be adequately lit by the heavily sun-shaded clear glazed windows. Daylight is ‘borrowed’ from the top-floor to light up the lower level which is the most disadvantaged due to the additional office space required. The offices are placed around the perimeter to take advantage of side-light from the windows, leaving the central space to be lit from above through the light wells. Two light-wells were provided, each with Perspex skylights. An egg-crate system with a 600mm x 600mm grid is placed under the skylight to diffuse the light as well as reduce glare.

the building is artificially lit all day. Maintenance of the system is also a problem, as the roof system must be constantly cleaned as the system highly depends on the reflective qualities of the exterior surfaces.

Jomo Kenyatta Memorial library, University of Nairobi The second building analyzed is the university’s main library which is located closer to the city centre. The building is made up of four blocks, three of which are tied together into a triangular form. The three blocks house the reading and stack space, with the central triangular space acting as the link. The main stairwell is located at this space. North facing louvered clerestories are used to light up this central space.

Summary Deductions Nairobi presents an interesting case, with high solar radiation amounts and close to perfect air temperatures. The two cases studied in this section indicates that it is very possible to bring in light from above without necessarily resulting in overheating. Both primary as well as secondary spaces can benefit a lot from top-lighting. The high external illumination experienced, however, would require a control system to prevent over illumination and glare. The high fluctuations in day-light levels need to be taken into consideration. These are because of the intermediate sky conditions experienced, which are characterized by changing periods of intense sunshine and cloudy cover. The ideal would be a top-lighting system which is flexible, allowing for the admission of useful daylight for the varied conditions. Noise control and maintenance of top-lighting systems are two other factors that need to be put into consideration. There is also a need for sensitizing the users to ensure maximum utilization of day-light in general. This is because artificial lights are still used all day even where day-lighting has been provided for.

Summary Deductions In addition to the poor day-light distribution observed at the ADD building, the well illuminated patch is almost unusable due to veiling reflections. For example, the contents on a book laid on a student’s desk appears blurred from the normal seating position and one must move back and view the book at an angle, or tilt it for comfortable reading. Students also expressed their discomfort from noise, as sound travels across the levels through the open light wells. This problem is aggravated by the ceramic tiled floor, which makes a lot of noise when furniture is moved from either of the levels. There are also problems of glare from the bright skylights. The Jomo Kenyatta memorial library building on the other hand shows the typical top-lighting systems common in the city. Even though the circulation space appears to be well illuminated and relies on the natural light from above for its functioning, the rest of

Deductions The top-lighting strategy used in this case exhibits the use of reflective surfaces, which have been used in other parts of the world as seen on the earlier sections of this chapter, as a potential strategy for top-lighting in Nairobi. Over-illumination seems to be a common problem for top-light.

The author is an Architect & Environmental Design Consultant, M.Phil. (Environmental Design in Architecture) Cambridge, B. Arch (Nairobi, LEED Green Associate

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COMPANY PROFILE

Ten Years of Creative Evolution Design Source Architects + Interior Designers

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iscipline, professionalism, accountability and integrity are the words that came from everyone who congratulated Design Source Architects & Interior Designers Limited on their tenth anniversary. The architecture and interior design firm that was established in 2006 is directed by Architects Christopher Naicca and Emma Miloyo who have built a competent team, not only in-house but in joint ventures with other consulting firms around the world. Some of their partners include Paragon Architects from South Africa, SHoP

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Architects in New York and Githutho Associates in Nairobi. The ten year journey began in a tiny office with one desk and a chair. And over the years, it is a set of principles and good relations with people that has led to the success of the firm. “Our first big project was an apartment block in Rongai, a project that was a blessing as it led to many more fulfilling projects,” Emma recalls. “Hard work, commitment and diligence has kept Design Source afloat over the years in this competitive industry. Maintaining good relations with our former employers, university lecturers and friends has also made networking and acquisition for clients easier,” she adds. The company’s mantra, conceptualize, visualize, real-


COMPANY PROFILE

Hotel Alba

Tubei villas

ize, has been translated in their impressive portfolio of energy, hospitality, residential, institutional, corporate, interiors and medical projects including several Gulf Energy and National Oil service stations across the country, Hekima College in Nairobi, Tubei Villas, Alba Hotel in Meru, Red Bean Café in Eldoret, Sunrise Resort in Mombasa, KCB and Barclays banks and the ongoing construction of a 22 story service apartment block on Ralph Bunche road among many others. Design Source prides in the trust they have earned from their clients. “We are proud to say that we have managed to retain our first clients to this day,” notes Chris. “It is by putting their needs before anything else that has helped maintain the goods relations and earn repeat business.” he adds.

Striving to get better each day, the Design Source team is regularly put in training in the sphere of architectural requirements to cope with the dynamic changes in the architectural market today. Committed to social empowerment and giving back, the firm has also been involved in several CSR projects. They are working on a school for Kibera Girls soccer academy, an ICT center in Eldama Ravine, a Maternity Hospital for Red Cross in Turkana and Schools in Lamu through request from their key clients, all on pro bono basis. In addition, Design Source strongly believes in team work and constant involvement of their clients, the community and the environment in every project they undertake.

LINEAR COST CONSULTANTS LTD

Project Managers & Quantity Surveyors

DESIGN SOURCE @10,- WE ARE PROUD AND PRIVILEGED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH YOU, thank you for supporting US

"To offer an exemplary service to our clients"

Kileleshwa, Vihiga Road off Makueni Road. +254700880086 , linearcc@gmail.com

Blue Violets Plaza, 6th Floor, Suite 603, Kindaruma/ Kamburu Road Junction P.O. Box 2861 – 00100 NAIROBI. Tel: +254 20 2730961 / 0733 633004 Email: aegis@aegisdevelopment.co.ke, info@aegisdevelopment.co.ke Website: aegis@aegisdevelopment.co.ke

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COMPANY PROFILE

Arch. Chris Naicca

Gulf Energy station

Jabali School Nairobi

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Arch. Emma Miloyo Directors’ Profiles Both directors, Architect Emma Miloyo and Architect Chris Naicca, hold Bachelor of Architecture degrees from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. They are both registered with the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (Kenya).Emma and Chris are also members of the Architectural Association of Kenya. They work together as a married couple with 3 children, living and practicing from Nairobi. Architect Emma was the first woman in Kenya to graduate with a First Class Honours in Architecture. The current vice president of the Architectural Association of Kenya and the first woman to hold the position, Emma was also the first woman to become the chairperson of

KCB Platinum


COMPANY PROFILE

the Architects Chapter in the association. She has previously served as the director of Konza Technopolis Development Authority in 2013 and organizing secretary of PROWE, an association of women professionals funded by ILO. Emma has also received numerous nominations, recognitions and awards including the Dura Coat Award for graduating top of the 2006 class at JKUAT, recognition in the Business Daily Top 40 under 40 Women and a nominee of the Eisenhower Fellow 2015 among others. She is also a council member of the East African Institute of Architects (EAIA) and the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa (APSEA). Architect Emma is passionate about children, women empowerment, social advocacy, and sustainable design. Architect Chris is founder and Executive director at Design Source Ltd. His professionalism and expertise in the construction industry has seen him earn the respect of his peers, who between 2011-2015 twice voted him to be, first, a council Member of the Architects Chapter of the Architectural Association of Kenya and secondly a member of the Governing Council of the Architectural Association of Kenya. He has twice served as Master of ceremonies and magazine editor for the AAK’s annual convention, the premier event in the construction industry calendar which brings together all industry professionals and stakeholders. In 2012 he was nominated by the AAK under the urban areas and cities act of Kenya onto an Ad hoc committee set up to review the eligibility for conferment of market, town, municipality or city

Hotel Alba status within Kakamega County. Chris has also served as a council member of the University Council of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for four years and is currently the Chair of the Alumni Association of the University where he has set up a business incubation center to nurture startups. He is also a board member at Word of Life international, a ministry organization committed to reaching the youth. He has a passion for leadership and growing of leaders and his lifelong ambition is to setup a network of influencers who can use their influence and expertise to positively impact the society.

Our heartiest congratulations to you for always evolving and inspiring others in the construction industry. Your hard work has truly paid off. Congratulations Design Source Ltd on your ten year anniversary. We deal in commercial Interior design. Brick house ground floor,kikuyu P.O.Box 1451-00902 kikuyu. Tel: 0721909520 Email: info@kagasainternational.com, website: www.kagasainternational.com

We are proud to be associated with Design Source on their 10th Anniversary. Congratulations! P.O.Box 41309 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 721 510 172, +254 724 507 969 Email: fluidsystemengineers@gmail.com


INTERIORS

Ultimate Guide to Interior Design Styles - Classicism

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e discussed contemporary/ modern interior styles in the previous issue. In this issue, we continue with our journey into the world of interior styles as we know them today and as historically discussed. We will peep into the world space of classic interior design style or classicism style as some may call it. The history of the emergence of classic style is believed to have originated from Greece and Rome mainly in art, literature, music and architecture in 17th - 19th centuries and quickly spread all over Europe. It became the dominant style for more than two centuries due to its restraint, symmetry, sophistication and appeal to antiquity. Artists of that time were inspired by the art of ancient Greece and Rome, namely their rigor, clarity and simplicity. Despite the strict rules, classicism though was manifested in different countries in its own way: if in France the interior design was full of splendor and luster, in England, classicism was featured by rationalism and rigor. Although, this is historically documented, John Pile, author of History in Interior Design aknowledges that

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Nyambura Nugi

interior design is a field with unclear boundaries in which construction, architecture, the arts and crafts, technology and product design all overlap. “The look” Classic Style is composed of noble decoration, orderly and balanced materials of exceptional quality carefully planned to create an ambience that is elegant and timeless – the epitome of good taste. Classicism design defines orderliness and predictability, respectability and solidity; smartness and sophistication. It is the style that is by far not the cheapest solution and the design is always topical and independent from fashion trends. It is a tradition of antiquity. The Features of Classicism in interior design include - Discreet cornices, columns, doors and windows with clear outlines, marble fireplaces – all furnishings tend to take rectangular form. - The color scheme of the interior is maintained in light pastel colors. - Niches of spacious rooms are decorated with statues, to hair’s breadth as in ancient times. - Classical ornaments depict oak or laurel leaves, but it can be seen in a certain order and symmetry at their


INTERIORS

-

disposition. Presence of arches, stucco, half-columns and columns.

Finishing materials All Classic materials are natural or unique, and therefore expensive. Columns and pilasters are usually made of marble; stucco is handmade only (in counterweight to prepared stucco “classic imitation”). The walls are often covered with cloth or panelled with natural wood as parquet is used as flooring, but in some areas (bathroom, kitchen and living room) is permissible to use marble or stone tiles. The ceiling in the classical style is usually white, decorated with stucco friezes. Colour range All shades are calm and neutral, making the overall classical interior atmosphere soothing. Most often used olive, beige, cream, light green and gold colors in the finishing materials, furniture and textiles. It is also permissible to use all shades of brown (natural wood color), but at the same time do not forget that the room should not look gloomy and dark. In upholstery and textiles blue, blue-green and sand colours are often used. Lighting To illuminate the room in classic style, crystal chandeliers, lamps made of transparent stones or expensive glass are often used. Chandelier in classic style is a real work of art: it is always the finest material handling. Interior design in a classic style shows that a chandelier placed strictly in the center of the ceiling, the light is distributed evenly, which gives the interior a finished look. In addition to the ceiling, lights in rooms are often decorated with bronze candlesticks or simulating candle chandeliers with shades. You can often see the torcheres in the fabric lampshades in the rooms. Textiles Heavy rich luxurious fabrics of brocade, satin and silk are the main fabrics used in the uphostery decoration of rooms in a classic style. The most common patterns will be classic tapestries or large scale chintzes, plain Damask and velvets welltrimmed with fringes. Curtain styles are formal with pelmets, swags and tails. If no pelmets or valance is used, the curtains will be hunged from a heavy pole with decorative finials. Decorations are often well draped and shaped, keeping tissues such as plush and heavy silk and often supplemented by an ornamental frill or ruffle. The floors are often shrouded with expensive handmade carpets. Furniture Precious woods, particularly dark wood, expensive upholstery fabrics, natural leather, damask, velvets and silk are the materials used in classical style furniture. Furniture in the style of

classicism is always functional and comfortable; furnishings are without “extra décor”. Wooden furniture is often varnished. To make the interior more airy and the furniture graceful, it is appropriate to use gold carving as decor. Walls, Floor and Ceiling In Classic Style, the spaces are polished and refined. Architectural details are important and surfaces finishes are mainly the same such as cornices, wooden moldings in skirting and dado rail, panelled doors and wooden floors. Wood colors can be strong but muted. Wallpaper in stripes or classic patterns can be used to create the sophisticated decoration. Accessories and decorative objects The choice of decor for classic interior should be approached with great responsibility: it must be restrained and solid. You can opt for porcelain products, antiques, paintings, statues and souvenirs

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INTERIORS

Bathroom Design The space is often finished with marble flooring, walls of white or beige colours in order to emphasize the grandeur of the interior, and thanks to the gilt elements, looks very solemnly. Mirrors in massive gilded or bronze frames, wall sconces and chandeliers will give the bath a special charm and luxury.

made of marble and bronze. To create a unique artistic composition, every detail is carefully selected and in harmony with others. The paintings in the classical style are considered landscapes of artists of 17th – 19th centuries, as well as reproductions of famous religiously oriented paintings and portraits. Pictures should be framed with exquisite wooden frames. Custom painting or drawing in the classical style, also mainly depicting landscapes, will become a real decoration for any room. Bedroom Design The main element of the classic style bedroom is the large wooden bed. In addition, the rest of the interior elements are nightstands, dressers, wardrobes and chairs or chest box. All pieces of furniture stand out by rounded shapes and smooth contours. The room is preferred soft muted light: lamps in fabric lampshades, often made of the same material as the covers will perfectly cope this task. Sconces mounted on the bedside table will help to make the atmosphere intimate. Classic style in the bedroom looks beautifully finished if the wallpaper and textiles are decorated with the same pattern; the time-tested design of an impeccable taste. Kitchen Design Classic kitchen is always practical, stylish and functional. Kitchen sets, made of solid wood dazzle with their correct forms and intricate carvings. Color range of the furniture is quite wide: from light cream to dark brown. Fine wood inlays are used as decorative elements of kitchen sets and lockers often decorated with stylized bronze and gold-plated handles. In a Classic Style Kitchen, maximum “disguise” of household appliances and modern kitchen utensils is key. Gas-stove, fridge, cooker hood should be built-in or hidden behind cabinet`s doors. Big massive table which can gather the whole family is an important element of the kitchen in the classical style.

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Living Room Design The living room is the most spacious room with natural lighting as the epitome of Classic Style design. It is easy to embody classicism in the living room interior design with functional and comfortable furniture made with precious woods, expensive upholstery fabrics of natural materials and floor covered with hand- made carpets; architecturally detailed walls; discreet cornices and columns; doors and windows with clear outlines and marble fireplaces; the presence of arches, stucco, half-columns and columns; color scheme maintained in light pastel colors; elegant tiered chandelier with gold-plated elements and crystal hangings; niches decorated with statues; the bronze clock and heavy floor vases and classical ornaments in a certain order and symmetry at their disposition - the tradition of Antiquity Commercial buildings Classicism is probably one of the most popular style in design for hospitality, catering and commercial establishments today. This traditional design of exquisite furniture and expensive accessories emphasizes the solidity and status of the establishment. The attractiveness created by the discreet luxury allows restaurants and bars to have the effective image to attract customers. Today, classic interiors are chosen by wealthy people, with settled taste preferences, as well as those who prefer the age-old cultural values and ​​ traditions. The design in classic style demonstrates the atmosphere of reliability, imperial dignity and validity of the establishment. What to never ever do in Classic Style Classic Style should be carried through an establishment / home with all the correct details of attention in materials and design. It is the most unforgiving style if standards/ materials are compromised as when that happens, the word “cheap” becomes a household to the entire design. This is the most expensive of styles; genuine and natural materials are expensive and cannot be compromised and must be used in harmony as even the smallest accessory should not contradict the general stylistic direction of Classic Style. Never start a Classic Style Design project unless and until finances are available from inception to completion. The author is the head designer at Zidaka Interiors. She can be reached via sales@zidakainterior.co.ke


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LANDSCAPING

Demystifying Residential Landscape Design Samuel Kerongo

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he main concern of Landscape Architects and designers who deal with the design and development of residential landscapes is the client, the site and the home. This is because clients, sites and homes are not same. Clients are unique with preferences and lifestyles. Likewise, each site is distinctive from the next because of site conditions. In addition, each home is different because of architectural details, decorations, furniture, and accessories. The design and development of residential developments calls for a critical consideration of the client and the site conditions. The residential site is an important environment due to the fact that it serves numerous utilitarian, aesthetic and psychological functions. It is for the residents, visitors, neighbors and passersby. The residential landscape is the context within which one appreciates the architecture of the house. One experiences the landscape before appreciating the architectonic features in the residential site. In addition,

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the residential site can be articulated as a spillover of indoor activities. These activities include: socializing, eating, cooking, reading, sunbathing, recreating and relaxation. The site can also be considered as an expression of the lifestyle and personality of the residents. Lastly, the site can be designed to play around with the human senses such as sight, noise, smell and touch. This is with a view of providing the mind and emotions with pleasurable thoughts and feelings. A typical residential site entails the following major spaces: front yard, backyard and side yards. The front yard is most often thought of as a public setting for the house. A lawn, often manicured to create a lush green carpet, occupies most of this area with a driveway situated along one side of the site. In arid areas of the country, the lawn area may be replaced with gravel or decomposed granite. The front yard is often defined using trees. The house is usually anchored by a row of plants along the entire base. Finally, a narrow walk extends from the driveway and street to entry foyer of the house.


LANDSCAPING

The backyard is designed as a private or semi-private outdoor space in a residential site. This space is mostly used by the inhabitants of the house for different activities such as family bonding, recreation, gardening etc. On most residential sites, the backyard is a more utilitarian area than the front yard and is the location of the outdoor terrace, work space, garden and open lawn for recreation. It is usually the location for outdoor living activities. The side yards are normally narrow leftover spaces which act as a transition between the front and back of the house. Consequently, few elements occupy this space e.g. Plantings, air conditioners and stored objects such as wood. The main use of this space is provision of pedestrian access and circulation. Residential Outdoor space can be perceived as space bound by physical elements such as the landform, plant material, pavement and site structures/furniture. Residential landscape architecture entails the provision and detailing of outdoor rooms for human activities. These outdoor rooms entail sufficient subspaces, adequate privacy, decoration and furnishings. Outdoor design elements such as pavement, a fence, and an overhead arbor, can provide the user with a feeling of being in a room. The base, vertical and overhead planes should have some material, pattern and color applied to them to create character. It is important to keep in mind that selecting materials, patterns and colors is critical to the success of a space. The other residential subspace is the outdoor living and entertaining space which is similar to a lounge in the house. It should be designed to accommodate individual and small group relaxation, and yet be flexible enough to hold larger groups of people for parties and other social gatherings. Designers should avoid long, narrow proportions because they imply movement, and it is difficult to arrange furniture for socialization. The size of the space should be determined based on the anticipated number of users and the required furniture. These spaces can be organized as a series of smaller subspaces, each accommodating a particular function such as sitting, entertaining, sunbathing, reading and so on. This is with a view of ensuring the outdoor living and entertaining space is not too large in scale. Outdoor furniture should be arranged in a generally circular group so people can face each other to talk. Circulation routes also need to be anticipated so they won’t cut directly through a conversation group in a disruptive manner. Another important consideration is for the designer to

establish a sense of enclosure in the outdoor entertaining space, particularly with the vertical and overhead planes. Enclosure by the vertical planes can be created with walls, fences or steep slopes. The residential landscape also constitutes recreation spaces for the users to play and enjoy. This space should be located on flat ground, with a slight slope for adequate drainage. It should not be too close to other spaces that require peace and quiet or where delicate elements such as flowers and potted plants are located. The shape of the recreation space should be appropriately and adequately sized for the type of recreation. Some of the recreational spaces are: swimming pools, children play areas, outdoor fitness spaces, sports pitches and courts just to mention but a few. Lastly, the kitchen garden space is another utilitarian area on the residential site. It exists as a work or hobby space for raising fruits, vegetables and perennial flower beds. It should be placed on fertile, well-drained soil on flat ground and in close proximity to a source of water. The garden should be situated such that it has adequate exposure to sunlight. The garden space should also be located such that it won’t become an eyesore, especially during those times of the year when vegetables and other plants are not growing. A few other ideas might also be considered for a vegetable garden. One is to incorporate the planting of vegetables with other plants in the yard rather than creating a separate vegetable garden. It is evident that outdoor spaces in a residential landscape come in two forms: hard and soft. For hardscapes, maintenance entails: cleaning, polishing of surfaces, and repair of some parts. Soft landscape maintenance entails irrigation, mowing, weeding, pest and disease control and pruning, just to mention a few. Residential landscape maintenance costs vary depending on the design and materials used. However, a good residential landscape design should be sustainable. References: 1. Booth, Norman K, and James E. Hiss. Residential Landscape Architecture: Design Process for the Private Residence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002. Print. 2. www.judywhite / Garden Photos .com 3. www.homeepiphany.com/23-pictures-of-beautifully-landscaped-front-yards/2/ 4. www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/peaceful-backyards-pictures Samuel Kerongo Landscape Architect/Urban Designer/ EIA Expert M. Arch UON, B. Landscape Architecture JKUAT Landtek Studios (Nairobi/Mombasa). landtekstudios@gmail.com.

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POOLWISE

Kenya Style Health Choma! Chandresh Raithatha

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aunas in Kenya became popular in the nineteen seventies with installations in popular clubs and hotels such as the Royal Nairobi Golf Club, Intercontinental and Hilton Hotels. Many luxurious homes had dedicated sauna cabins installed in conjunction with swimming pools. Given that sauna bathing is regarded as a therapy in extremely cold weathers, why did saunas become popular in Kenya? Common benefits in both hot and cold weather for sauna usage are: • Increased metabolism & cardiovascular workout • Healing and temporary relief for arthritis • Improves circulation and skin tone • Flushes toxins and impurities in the body. The scientifically proven benefits of saunas work in any weather. In fact sauna usage makes hot weather more bearable. There was much publicity in 2014 whereby the Italian football team trained using a sauna in preparation for a visit to Brazil. The thermal spa experience is part and parcel from ancient Roman times. Roman baths involved the use of three hot rooms of different temperatures known as the tepidarium, the caldarium and the laconicum. These were used as part of cleaning process after exercise and were widespread across the Roman Empire from Britain in the North to the baking heat of Algeria! Even today, Turkish baths provide hot rooms to bathers in very hot Middle Eastern and Northern African Nations. No matter how hot it gets this summer, enjoy a sauna and which should be followed by a cold shower or a dive into a cold pool to lower your body temperature. In Kenya, saunas have been regarded traditionally as a

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preserve of the rich with accessibility restricted to private homes, exclusive clubs and luxurious hotels. Today virtually all good hotels have sauna facilities plus many many health clubs. Estimates of public saunas today may be three hundred plus all over the country. The sauna growth phenomenon has been fuelled by the popularity as well as the availability of both the equipment as well as the expertise in this field. Pioneer suppliers have been the Davis Motor Corporation (our late friend Mr. Jim Davis who also started the Nautilus brand of fitness equipment in Kenya), Swimming Pool Services (our late friend Mr. David Thorogood), and us having started with sauna installations in 1979. Important sauna installation aspects are as follows: • Interior finishes • Equipment • Installation and Design Interior finishes in a sauna composes of a room with internal insulation and a timber finish. Insulation materials used include rock wool (imported) or most common local styropor. The most popular timber traditionally used has been red cedar because of both the durability and the natural scent. Given the ban on cedar, Podo is used, but recommended is Mvule for its durability as well natural appearance. Tongue and Grooved timber together with hidden nails and clean finishes are required. External opening doors may be solid timber or full glass with timber handles. Another alternative is imported ready built cabins. With the ready built cabins, the finishes are excellent but in many cases, the timber is just laminated and generally only suitable for light usage. Equipment available locally is either Scandinavian or Chinese and most common are electrical sauna heaters.


POOLWISE

The other option is for a timber fired heater with a chimney and these are not common in Kenya. Sizing is usually two kilowatt output per three cubic meter sauna room space. Thermometers, buckets, speakers, sauna clocks, hygrometers and fragrances are also available locally. Installation marries equipment with the interior finishes. The interior design should consider placement of the sauna heater vis a vis the door and the placement of benches. Different levels of sauna benches allow users to enjoy different temperatures. Smooth finishing is critical as well as hidden nailing given that sauna bathers do not wear clothing and walk bare foot within the sauna. Natural intake and outlet ventilation are extremely important to allow the sauna heating to work efficiently. Safety considerations are paramount with sauna installations. Fire hazards may be minimized with proper installation and maintenance of equipment. Quality sauna heaters have inbuilt safety functions including thermostatic controls, which prevent excessive temperature and a safety cut off switch when temperatures exceed for example 110o Celsius. If these switches are not inbuilt or in the event they are by passed, serious fire hazards are created. Most incidents are caused by a sauna heater overheating and the interior timber catching fire. Sauna rooms should also be equipped with alarms linked externally to allow for assistance should the need arise. There are various safe sauna guidelines

in place in most western nations. A sauna should be enjoyed given proper preparations starting with the mental understanding to enjoy and relax! Personal well being starts with having a light stomach (sauna bath should only be done several hours after a meal), having a shower and being hydrated prior to enjoying the sauna. Mobile phones and entertainment devices should not be used and put away to allow for natural peace. Whilst having the sauna, it is important to adjust and maintain a temperature which is comfortable to your body. Should you experience any discomfort, leave immediately and relax and cool down with a shower. Rehydration and a sufficient relaxation period are extremely important after sauna usage. Saunas have been used extensively and continue to be enjoyed by millions. However, today, whenever a sauna is mentioned, the query sauna or a steam is often raised! What are the differences and benefits? Welcome to our steam bath discussion in the next issue. Chandresh Raithatha is the Operations Director of Waterwayss Africa and has Been in the Swimming pool and leisure Industry since 1991. Contacts are waterways@kenyaweb.com & office GSm + 254 -722-511-438 or +252-733-511-438 0r +254-737-511-438 or 254-738511-438 Direct line line 0706-511438 (Sms only).


ARCHITRAVEL

The Ultra-Modern Luxury Hub of UAE-Dubai City Stephen Lutta

O

nly five hours by flight away from Nairobi lies an amazingly extraordinary metropolis, an oasis of development and forward thinking in the middle of the reclusive eastern Arabia. It is at the forefront of building technology & sustainability and continues to push the envelope on modern design and architecture. Dubai literally towers out other cities in the world, with its “world’s tallest tower” and other out of the box architecture which is everywhere to see; in the malls, on the streets and even in the public transportation facilities. It is a Mecca of some proportion to every design professional. History Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The capital of the Emirate of Dubai is also one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Its local population is less than 10% of the total population, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The city of Dubai itself is located on the emirate’s northern coastline and heads up the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area.

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Dubai is thought to have been established as a fishing village in the early 18th century and was, by 1822, a town of some 800 members of the Baniyas tribe subject to the rule of Sheikh Tahnoon of Abu Dhabi. In 1833, following tribal feuding, members of the Al Bu Falasa tribe seceded from Abu Dhabi and established themselves in Dubai. The exodus from Abu Dhabi was led by Ubaid bin Saeed and Maktum bin Butti who became joint leaders of Dubai until Ubaid died in 1836, leaving Maktum to establish the Maktoum dynasty which is still in power today. Economy Dubai has emerged as a global city and business hub in the Middle East, partly due to its oil and to a greater extent, tourism. It is a major transport hub for passengers and cargo through the Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Port respectively. Dubai’s oil revenue helped accelerate the early development of the city, but its reserves are limited and production levels are low. In fact, less than 5% of the emirate’s revenue comes directly from oil. The emirate’s western-style model of business drives its economy with the main revenues now coming from tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services. It has recently attracted world attention through many innova-


ARCHITRAVEL

Kempinski Hotel, Dubai tive large construction projects and sports events. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. As of 2012, Dubai was the 22nd most expensive city in the world. Architecture Dubai has several notable areas which are planned to serve different purposes. There is Deira where the City began in earnest. It hosts the International Airport, the trading Districts and the former Port of Dubai at the Deira Creek where the Dhows that previously sailed to Oman and East Africa with pearls can be found. It has all manner of goods on offer and all major hotels have built stunning facilities right on the creek. It hosts the recently reclaimed Palm Deira Island, a world notable project, where islands were created in the ocean, in the shape of a palm. This is the second such Palm Dubai have come up with. Deira’s City center hosts professional entities like Atkins in their Al Rostamani building and the Union Train Station, the heart of Dubai’s Metro. Other notable facilities here include, Deira City Centre Mall. And Al Mamzar Park, a landscaping master development with beaches on the creek. Dubai’s Downtown and Financial Centre Districts host the buildings everyone wants to see. They abut each other and consist of Towers and major Skyscrapers. The Burj Khalifa, Emaars’ Dubai Mall, The Address hotel towers, ADIC Towers, and other marvels straddle the Sheikh Zayed Union Road, a 28-lane highway that runs across Dubai linking Deira

Burj-Al-Arab Terrace aerial

to Jebel Ali port, and running through all of Dubai’s major districts. Further down the road is the Dubai Internet City, hosting telecommunications and Media providers as well as all of Dubai’s University campuses. Etisalat, CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, IBM, Oracle and Dell have notable office buildings here. Next is Dubai Marina City, the gateway to the Jumeirah District, where royalty and Hollywood Stars live. It is a whole new town with slightly segregationist pricing ensuring only the richest in Europe and the rest of the world patronize it. The Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall and an artificial creek are marvels to look out for.

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ARCHITRAVEL

Palm Jumeriah The Hilton Dubai Marina, the beach residences & facilities and the Dubai Marina itself is a place of many faces. Nightlife here is amazing as you may just meet one of your favorite football stars from Europe on a laid-back night out. The Al Maktoum International Airport is just 10 minutes away, preferred for its privacy by the private jets that come to Dubai Marina & Jumeirah. The Jumeirah district was planned for locals and the Sheikh of Dubai along with his family. Nowhere else will one find more palaces and royals living next to each other. The district also hosts the famous Burj Al Arab, the waterworld Wild Wadi and the Jumeirah Beach hotel. Skydive Dubai has an airstrip, world class medics and plastic surgeons have practices here and the newly completed landscaping project; the Jumeirah public beach is incredible. Then comes the Palm Jumeirah, the mother of out of the box thinking. It was the first group of artificial islands shaped like a palm in the world, and hosts properties belonging to the crème of the crop. Trump Tower Hotels are right on the neck of the palm as you drive up into the island town. David Beckham, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt and other world celebrities, like the late Zaha Hadid have properties on the fronds of the palm. The world most famed hotel, The Artlantis Dubai is right at the peak of the palm tree; only the second in the world. Other notable areas in Dubai include the Dubai Rugby Sevens stadium, Dubai Festival City, the upcoming Dubai Cinema World, the Desert Stables, the Port of Jebel Ali and Al Nahda & Al Qusais industrial Areas. The list is truly endless. Developments The construction boom is back as Dubai is set to host World Expo 2020. There is a scramble to build up new districts in the city, improve the already stunning road and

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rail networks, add more hotels and diversify the array of activities in Dubai. Major architectural & engineering firms are opening offices here, with Zaha Hadid Architects, Santiago Calatrava, BIG and Forster and Partners all having opened offices there as late as December of 2016. They join the likes of Gensler, Aedas, Arup, Atkins, SOM and RMJM who have all contributed to the amazing Dubai Skyline. Santiago Calatrava Architects have just won a competition to build the Deira Creek Observation Tower, which is going to be taller than Burj Khalifa. The nature of practice here is that most projects are carried out with only three entities to minimize the need for external collaboration and speed up delivery times; The Project Manager, The Consultant Firm and the Contractors. To achieve this, Consultant firms provide consortium services. Dubai is set to remain the capital of Design and Architecture. To those planning to try their hand at practice in Dubai, impossible is still not part of their vocabulary. The author is a graduate Architect and a travel enthusiast at info@africanatravel.co.ke


TECHNOLOGY

Rendering Effects

Brian Munene

Picturesque sketch

Watercolor effect

Oil painting effect

God’s ray

I

’m sure you’ve just settled back in the office after the festive holidays and you’re probably making a couple of project presentations to potential clients or showcasing various ideas for different proposals. It is important to note that the more captivating the presentation is, the higher your chances are of locking in the potential client and having that project kick-off. Most presentations are done using rendered 3D images accompanied by rendered floor plans but it’s no longer just okay to present a plain 3d image. You have to step out of the norm. Today we’ll look at a couple of post-production techniques and effects that you can use to make your images more inviting and more interesting to look at. Before the computer age artistic impressions were created by hand and every now and then the image that would be the face of the project would be drawn up. You’d have to get a good artist to create your impression. With the computers, you do not have to Micheal Angelo or Da Vinci to create a master piece. You can use any basic rendering software to produce any of these images. Lumion, Sketch Up or Piranesi being the easiest ones to use for post-production effects. The first style would be the picturesque sketch. It can also be done in color. This style is compared to hand sketching with pencils. It can be done using plain black strokes or colored strokes. Remember the sketches you did in your first year in school? This effect is a mastery of the pencil work but now done using the computer. You can choose different pen weights for your image to get different results. The 2nd effect you can use and which is probably my favorite is the watercolor effect. Remember your watercolor paint set from your primary school art and craft class? This effect comes mostly in full color though you can experiment with it in black and white. Unlike the sketching effect that works on the basis of line strokes, the watercolor effect goes against the linear and has a lot of distortion of edges and smudging. The edges of the images seem blurred out with no clarity on the background just the primary colors of the surrounding. The oil painting effect is one you’d like to use if your clientele is a more sophisticated one. One that appreciates the mastery in the Van Gogh’s and the Picassos. It gives your images a rough textured feeling with an almost life-like bump gradient. You can try different settings to get different feels for the texture and the bump. Another effect that I have found has a really positive influence on the client is ‘God’s Ray’. It is the use of light rays coming through the window to show a major source of light in the sky outside. The illusion of heavenly light streaming through the windows into the room. It gives an internal space a really life like feeling. You almost feel the warmth of the rays and helps the client visualize how the room looks with natural lighting and makes the idea/proposal more real for them. For projects that are meant to be fun or even focused on children I’d recommend the cartoon effect. It gives a playful appearance to the image. This effect is drawn from the children’s animated TV shows and movies. For a classic look, something retro. For a project whose concept is something ‘Old School’ the 80’s TV effect is highly recommended. Think of it as a screenshot straight out of an 80’s TV show just when colored TVs started being a thing. The author is an architectural assistant and visualizer at Architecture Kenya Media Ltd

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GROHE EURODISC JOY

The New Eurodisc Joy faucet line from GROHE combines modern operating comfort with award-wining design Form and function at their best - a dynamically curved, slanted silhouette a filigree joystick with smooth action, a sleek edge running along the spout - that’s all it takes to reinterpret a well-known classic faucet. If you are looking for ground breaking design, don’t look any further than the Eurodisc Joy faucet line from GROHE. Combining visual lightness with easy operation, the Eurodisc Joy is clearly a cut above the rest with clever details and architectural clarity. The new Eurodisc Joy brings great looks and pure pleasure to the

bathroom. The most important design feature of this faucet is its minimalist, infinitely adjustable joystick. Its superior ergonomics, combined with the innovative GROHE SilkMove® cartridge technology allows precise fingertip control of the water mix. At the same time the integrated GROHE EcoJoy® water-saving technology promotes responsible and sustainable consumption of water and energy. The wall-mounted wash basin faucets additional feature the adjustable GROHE AquaGuide mousseur. Moreover, the SpeedClean technology ensures reliable functionality as well as a long life.

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BUILDesign Magazine Issue 023  

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