Project: Office Building Nairobi
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Designed by Tamir Addadi Architecture
This complex is located on a major road with a constant flow of cars and pedestrians. The main building, in the shape of an open box, delimits a garden with three additional small buildings. The complex includes underground parking, shops and cafés on ground level and offices on the higher floors.
The complex is designed as an open system, enabling maximal flexibility for each user in arranging their private space and façades. While choosing the best for their needs, the users would also collectively determine the appearance of the building’s façades. They will choose their private entrance out of several divisions and colours – this collection of choices would compose the appearance of the internal façades surrounding the public garden. The external façades are affected by the users’ choices to a greater extent (see animation).
Deciding upon the size of the balcony, the position of the rings and the type of greenery would enable the user to adjust and control the amounts of exposure, privacy and open view their space receives. The user would make these decisions considering the specific location of their office or shop within the building, factoring in the height, cardinal direction, relation to the road etc.; the collection of all of the users’ choices together with the natural changes of the greenery throughout the different seasons would create a building that ‘responds’ authentically to its surroundings and users’ needs.
Considering Nairobi’s all-year-round mild weather, the outdoor areas were designed to act as an extension of the offices – they provide additional, relaxed and less formal working environments. With wireless internet connection everywhere in the complex, work can be done and meetings held in the large garden surrounded by cafes and restaurants on the ground floor, as well as in the three gardens located on the roofs of the inner buildings (aerial view). Each of these roof gardens contains a kitchenette and a sitting area, and is designated for the use of one floor of offices.
The complex is open to the street, and is inviting to the passer-by with its garden, shops and cafes. This multi-use environment has a rich potential for a range of events and interactions, as it brings together people who work in the complex and people who are there to shop or relax.
Due to the high level of crime in Nairobi, developments tend to be closed, surrounded by a fence and guarding. By creating the extreme opposite – an open complex with lively public spaces at its centre, we managed to solve the security problem: Places that are constantly watched-over by many people are not attractive for criminals.
By designing structurally simple buildings and using local technology and materials, we managed to stick to a low budget – the complex is not more expensive to construct then a typical office building of the same scale.
Client: Jericho Developments
Plot area: 6068 m2
Gross floor area: 36,710 m2
Building Cost: $10,000,000
General contractor: Vishak Builders Ltd
Structural engineer: Metrix Consultants Ltd
On-site supervision: Architect David Kiaraho
Architecture and landscape: Tamir Addadi, Raphael Cohen
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