Located in Kenya, on steep sloping terrain, this 980m² residence has sweeping views of Nairobi.
The approach to the home is carved from the terrain to reveal recessed carports surrounding the triple-volume entrance foyer. The lower levels comprises ancillary functions to the home, with a featured lower-level apartment and views over a landscaped garden framing Nairobi.
The lower level articulates the notion of insertion through its material solidity, forming the base from which upper levels can extend. The architectural language enhances the notion of extraction and insertion, with an interplay of massing for the base and second floor, and void spaces separating the solid areas to create open living spaces.
The first-floor level comprises the open plan living areas with supporting study and formal lounge areas. The kitchen, dining, and family rooms open onto the terraced lanai and private garden. The client, being an avid wildlife and aerial photographer, has a suitable private photography room on this level.
The second floor comprises all the private bedrooms, with two guest suites and the main bedroom suite. Benefiting from the raised levels and sloping site, the upper level maximizes views of the city, while offering respite from public functions on lower levels.
Aesthetically and formally, the upper levels are conceived as floating monoliths with lightweight glass inserts to accommodate natural light ingress. The choice of materials is intentionally restricted to a natural stone used in various applications. At the base and larger monolithic forms, the stone facades are cut vertically to break the monotony and introduce an alternative rhythm. These cuts also introduce slithered natural light into habitable spaces.
Contrasting the natural stone with dark steel structural elements and privacy screens accentuates the drama of the interplay between solids and voids, light and heavy, and adding and subtracting.
This home is imbued with a spatial character that is crafted to the client’s needs for privacy and serenity while unlocking views and maximizing the use of the existing context.