KYUNA CRESCENT, NAIROBI

completed september 2007, designed, managed and part joinery package



Budget dictated a minimal intervention that retained and reused as much of the existing house as possible. To begin, ill-considered previous interventions are peeled back and removed. The heavy stone of the existing fabric is pared down, cleaned up and prepared to receive the lighter weight appendages that define the new spaces. To the rear of the house, changes are kept to a minimum. Where possible the existing is maintained and the footprint of the old house remains largely intact.

A more radical transformation takes place in front, where internal walls are removed to open up the spaces and the section is reworked as new roofs and doors reconnect the house to the garden. New terracotta tiled plinths create outdoor rooms and vegetation fills the spaces between the units.

Oriented towards the east, the verendeel truss supports the roof and creates huge windows that fill the public rooms with morning light. The roof plane slopes down to the west and protects the outdoor areas from the hot afternoon sun. Trellises cast a constantly changing play of shadows.

Fulfilling two opposing functions, the custom made doors open the house up to the garden whilst maintaining a strong security barrier. We worked with readily available standard steel casement sections and locally made cypress plywood panels in order to achieve a robust and economical system.

 

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