Architecture Kenya



African Renaissance monument - Senegal
Concept - President Abdoulaye Wade

AAK in push for Isiolo Resort City EOI extension

Steve Oundo
The Architectural Association of Kenya has written to the Ministry of Tourism seeking extension of time for more Architects to make their submissions for the Isiolo Resort City Expression of Interest (EOI) closed on the 8th of April 2010. In an exchange of letters sent to its members , AAK chairman Steve Oundo raises questions about the time frames given and whether the Public Procurement Act was followed to the latter in the EOI. Specifically raised is the fact that the advertisement calling for the EOI only appeared in one major newspaper - The Standard , contrary to the requirements of the Public Procurement Act requiring that it appears in atleast two major newspapers, an error the Ministry concedes. A reply from the Ministry did not promise any extension but acknowledged that it had received 16 submissions from both local and international firms and would move to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage .

BORAQS to hold CPD seminar.

The Board of Registration of Architects and quantity surveyors will hold a  Continous Proffessional Development seminar at the Safari Park Hotel on the 6th of May 2010. The Theme of the seminar is ‘THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. The Seminar is also extended to:  Engineers, Developers, Contractors and other interested persons. Participants will pay Kshs.6,000/-. The event will attract 5 CPD points.

Architects scramble for a piece of ICPAK.

A record 25 architectural firms submitted  their expression of interest (EOI) for the design of a new secretariat office block for the Institute of certified accountants of Kenya (ICPAK). The plum job also involves refurbishing and modernizing existing buildings. Some of the firms that submitted their expressions include Triad Architects, Planning Systems amongst others. Shortlisted firms will be contacted within 30 days.

Second position Architects awarded ICC headquarters commission.

Danish architect Schmidt Hammer Lassen has won the contract to build the new €190 million headquarters for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, despite coming second in the competition for the project.

Dusseldorf based practice Ingenhoven Architects was originally announced as the winner of the international competition to create a design for the 72,000sq m site in 2008, beating practices including OMA, David Chipperfield, Mecanoo, Wiel Arets and Kengo Kuma.

Norman Foster features on Times Rich list

British star architect Sir Norman Foster has beeen featured in the Sunday Times Rich list for the second consecutive year. Foster, the only Architect in the list is estimated to be worth 168 million pounds putting him at number 394 on the list. Foster recently donated 2million pounds out of his personal fortune to The Norman R Foster Visiting Professorship in the Yale School of Architecture , his alma mater.

Japanese duo win 2010 Pritzker prize.

This year's annual Pritzker prize goes to Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa partners in Tokyo based firm SANAA. The firm has several significant built works in Japan, Europe and North America. The jury lauded the pair's work as "delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever... creating a sense of fullness and experiential richness." The jury cited four museum buildings as exemplars of Sejima and Nishizawa's the O-Museum (1999) in Nagano, Japan; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (2004) in Kanazawa, Japan; the Glass Pavilion (2006) at the Toledo Museum of Art, in Toledo, Ohio; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (2007) in New York City.

Herzog & De Meuron's Hotel proposal thrown out.

The Helsinki City council voted 47 to 38 to reject a hotel proposal at a Helsinki city centre site by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron. The site is on the Katajanokka site of Helsinki's south harbour now occupied by a terminal building. The cross shaped five star glass hotel had ellicited intense debate from Helsinki's Architects and urban planners. The council meeting was transmitted to an estimated 1,400 viewers via webcast.


Zaha Hadid's Jordanian Museum unveiled.
Star Architect Zaha Hadid has revealed the design proposal for the King Abdullah II House of Culture & Art that constitutes a 1600 seat concert theatre , 400 seat theatre, educational centre , rehearsal rooms and galleries. According to Zaha Hadid Architects, the design draws its inspiration from the ancient city of Pietra and is supposed to show the interplay between architecture ,nature and the elegance of natural forms.  The firm won the project in an international competition that saw participation from architects from France, Denmark , Austria and Singapore. Construction is expected to begin in early 2012.


Symbion wins KTDA project.
Symbion Architects has won the design competition for the Kenya Tea Development Authority office tower  in Nairobi's Koinange street. It beat several other competing firms including Tectura International, AAKI consultants  amongst others. Florida 1 entertainment spot which currently occupies the site will be demolished to pave way for the new office tower.


Brother Klaus Field Chapel - Germany by Peter Zumthor (Oculus View). The field chapel dedicated to Swiss Saint nicholas von der Flüe (1417–1487), known as Brother klaus, was commissioned by farmer hermann- Josef Scheidtweiler and his wife Trudel and largely constructed by them, with the help of friends, acquaintances and craftsmen on one of their fields above the village. The interior of the chapel room was formed out of 112 tree trunks, which were configured like a tent. in twenty- four working days, layer after layer of concrete, each layer 50 cm thick, was poured and rammed around the tent- like structure. in the autumn of 2006, a special smouldering fire was kept burning for three weeks inside the log tent, after which time the tree trunks were dry and could easily be removed from the concrete shell. The chapel floor was covered with lead, which was melted on site in a crucible and manually ladled onto the floor. The bronze relief figure in the chapel is by sculptor hans Josephsohn.


Sameer Business Park attracts massive tenant

The government of Kenya has offered to lease the entire 50,000 sq. metres office and warehouse space at the Sameer Business Park along Mombasa road for a staggering 2 billion Kenya shillings. The government expects to use it for business process outsourcing a key pillar of Vision 2030.  The Sameer Business Park, part of a conglomerate of  companies owned by usiness magnate Naushad Meralli has accepted the offer. The development planned on an  8 acre site is expected to be completed by the middle of the year.   Gideon Ngumbau


Government to build ICT city in Malili.
The government plans to build an ICT city in Malili near Machakos. The project is planned on a massive 5,000 acre site the government recently acquired in Malili at a cost of Ksh 1 billion. The project, part of the governments vision 2030 pillars of development is to be undertaken in conjunction with the World Bank and the private sector at an estimated cost of 10 billion USD. However, the site formerly part of Malili Ranch is marred in controversy and allegations of fraud that threaten to derail the project. 


Iconic building to pave way for an office tower.

The famous entertainment spot on Koinange street Florida 1 (F1) building popularly known as 'Madi' is to be brought down to pave way for a new office tower. The building stands on a site owned by the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) . A competition organised by the company saw submisssions from several local firms amongst them Symbion Architects, Tectura Architects and AAKI architects amongst others. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Symbion Kenya won the competition and may be commisioned to design the office tower. The intended demolition of this iconic building has ellicited adverse reactions amongst some members of the Architectural fraternity with some advocating for a lobby to stop the intended demolition. 


Public works ministry to recruit several Architects.
The government plans to recruit sixty trainee architects in the latest recruitment drive amongst other civil servants. In an advertisement in local dailies, the government asked interested applicants to submit their applications to the public service commission. This recruitment, the largest in recent times comes in the wake of several building disasters blamed on an acute shortage of architects and other building professionals in government institutions.


Strathmore Management Science Building nearing completion.
One of the flagship buildings of the Strathmore University phase 3 expansion is nearing completion. The five floor blue and yellow stone clad bulding is among several other buildings designed by Lexicon Design Architects that include a Student centre, a Business school, a library and warehouses some still under construction. It houses a series of state of the art lecture rooms and auditoria.  AK team


Police housing to go in planned road expansion.
Atleast two newly constructed apartment blocks for police housing in the Central Police grounds in the city are set to be demolished to pave way for road expansion. In a bizzare culture that has not spared even the government , the houses are apparently constructed on a road reserve. The Thika  road expansion main construction company China Wu Yi has already started work around the area. Given that this is a government project it is not clear why Public works ministry officials did not adhere to the plot boundaries and building regulations in the city. AK team


Building Code to be overhauled.
The government is set to overhaul the outdated 1967 building code beleived to be the cause of the rot in the construction industry in Kenya. The current code has been fingered by several commissions of inquiry into the rampant collapse of buildings  as being obsolete and allowing quacks to infiltrate the industry. The review was launched by the Prime Minister and includes persons from universities, proffessional bodies , government and government agencies.  The new code is expected to revolutionize the construction sector, lock out quacks and recognize emerging changes and technologies in the industry.

 Museum Mosaic Gates Brought Down for Road Expansion

The Kenya National Museums gate has been brought down to pave way for the expansion of Museum Hill Road.

People: Architect David Mutiso

Kenyan architect and town planner. He was educated at the University of Sheffield's School of Architecture Read More

Buildings: The Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)


Firms: Triad Architects

Triad Architects was incorporated in 1963 by RIBA Bronze medalist, Amyas Connell and the Professional Centre founder, Graham McCullough. Triad Architects has been at the forefront of the architectural profession in Kenya and the East Africa region since then. Read more