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Nairobi Complex Deluxe

November 17,2023 by Jo Brown

Most of the projects we post here at Yanko Design are posted due to both their excellence and their status as a conceptual project (aka, only in your mind, my young padawan.) Sometimes, on the other hand, we get a project submitted that’s right along on its way toward becoming a real live object or construction. This just happens to be one of those: designer Tamir Addadi presents a complex of offices, shops, and gardens being built right this moment in Nairobi Kenya.

First of all, the location of this office: along a major road in Nairobi with a constant flow of pedestrians and autos. The building has a garden surrounding and running up the sides of it (more on this in a moment), has underground parking, shopw and cafes on the ground level, and offices on the higher ups.

The building is built as an open book system. For maximum flexibility, each user chooses their private space from a selection of several divisions and colors. As new offices are added, the facade of the building changes, and the surrounding garden walls grow. As each user decides on their area for an office, so too do they choose where the red rings of the balcony will be positioned and what type of greenery they’ll employ. As you’ll see in the video below, a layer of dirt is added near the edge of the balcony for irrigation and so that the plants might have a place to grow.

The outdoors areas are extensions of the offices, acting as a place to relax and sit in the sun. These areas are of the sort that’d basically never work in any other part of the world as Nairobi is one of those places that has constant mild weather. Very nice! Wireless internet runs through the whole of the building, meetings can be held in large gardens on the ground near the cafes and restaurants and on the roofs of the inner buildings, each of these rooftop gardens featuring their own kitchenette and sitting area.

Because this complex is so open to the street and surrounding areas, it invites in passers by and encourages them to use this multi-functional environment for events and interactions, to shop, or just to relax with a nice cold drink. For security, (since Nairobi is a high-crime area,) this building is exactly the thing criminals tend to avoid the most: a wide open space watched over by masses of people all the time. Well played – but better watch out for pickpockets.

Finally, to keep the budget low on this project, it’s being constructed using local technology and materials, this complex costing less than a typical office building of the same size.

Details: Location: Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya Architecture and landscape: Tamir Addadi, Raphael Cohen 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 Rendering: D4 Video animation: Tamir Addadi Architecture

Designer: Tamir Addadi

Inspired by fishing boats, this houseboat’s compact lifestyle is entirely sustained through solar energy!

Floating idly by the waters of Lake Tisza, a small, white houseboat called Sneci carries a city-dwelling couple who call the tiny vessel home. Tamás Bene, a Hungary-based architect, designed Sneci with sustainability and mobility bringing him his main inspiration. The couple, originally from Budapest, sought Bene out to build a summer home that wasn’t grounded or fixed but embedded in the beauty of The Great Hungarian Plain’s Lake Tisza.

Sneci’s pace might mimic its namesake, ‘the snail,’ with a smaller 9.9 internal combustion engine, but Bene and his clients wanted a houseboat that could bring them through Lake Tisza’s curving waterways slowly . In fact, Sneci was built for leisure. After all, the fisher’s lifestyle, which inspired the boat’s overall design, has a way of slowing things down. Bene looked to other boats dotted along Lake Tisza’s shoreline, like fishing boats, for their compact, yet functional operation – hoping to maintain an overall small size and adaptivity standard so that the houseboat’s residents could move modestly on the water, but purposefully indoors. Managing to incorporate a small kitchen, dining area, and double bed in Sneci’s small space, Bene paneled the boat’s interior walls with thermo-wood and Redwood timber. Since designers structure fishing boats primarily according to each fisher’s needs, the final vessel prioritizes practicality above aesthetics. Hoping to find a way to bridge the two, Bene maintained the houseboat’s inherent minimalism in maintaining a compact living space, while integrating subtle, nautical design accents for both the boat’s interior and exterior. Most of Sneci’s exterior cladding and structure are built from aluminum and then covered with a stately, snow-white coating. Besides aluminum, Bene utilized heat-treated thermo-wood for Sneci’s roof, decking, and back wall. Smaller portholes provide the interior living space with views of the lake and a larger, floor-to-ceiling door offers a fuller view and opens up to the houseboat’s bow deck and the artificial lake’s outdoor wonders.

However, building Sneci to blend in with Lake Tisza’s shoreline shrubbery and trees required some energy-efficient sources of power for a water system and electricity. Two solar panels line Sneci’s roof and generate enough electricity to power up electrical equipment in the houseboat’s tiny kitchen, which includes a small refrigerator, light fixtures, and one gas-powered stove plate. The kitchen’s sink requires no electricity since drinking water can be obtained through a foot pump that delivers water from a 20-liter bottle. Tamás Bene said, “We aimed to design a boat capable of assimilating into these surroundings, one that may become part of this scenery.” With a fully-contained water system, an energy-efficient source of electricity, and a modular, compact living space – I think it’s safe to say, he completed what he set out to design.

Designer: Tamás Bene

The Ground Explosion

Behold! From the earth underfoot jumps forth a sculpture of epic preportions, with a light in it too! This is a single-house project. There’s only one of these amazing amalgamations. But look, if enough people flip out over it, go nuts over it, break a blood vessel in their forhead for it, maybe it’ll be made on a large scale? I hope so. This is fabulous. What this project consists of is metal triangles embedded into the ground in a grid, a grid with the ability to hold triangles that appear to burst forth from the ground. Two planes pushing against each other.

Lovely, isn’t it? The closest thing I’ve seen to this in my experience is a hole in the ground where an umbrella could be stuck, all this below a table surface outdoors. This idea, wow did they expand upon it. These folks and VeeV design are triangularly brilliant.

This project is currently located in a 1950’s styled home in Berkeley Hills, California. High five to whoever’s house this is!

Photographer: Reid Yalom (outdoor photos)

Designers: Raveevarn Choksombatchai (principal), Robbie Crabtree, and Jeremy Steiner of VeeV Design

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