The concept for House A is the result of an experience conducted in Nairobi, Kenya. The designers were asked to formulate a contextualized vision that could interpret the needs of the client – a diplomat with an intense social life – to receive illustrious guests and at the same time to provide a home for his family with a large area used to staff and services.
Within an exclusive compound surrounded by high walls, in a 50×60 meter lot, the villa occupies 1,000 square meters and is conceived on three key concepts: the welcome, the core, the relationship with the outside world, in particular with greenery and water. The villa is the result of a joint of volumes that alternate public and private areas, transparent facades to opaque, in an attempt to create, as far as possible, a visual continuity intended to favour green areas. Even those green areas are designed to be viewed comfortably by guests and by the family members. Surrounded by lush vegetation, the pools remind to the local bodies of water, like natural lakes.
To the north, at the entrance to the compound, there is a space reserved for visitors consisting of two volumes in L shape embracing the first green area. The front block on one floor, with transparent walls, houses a private collection of art and a meeting room with a roof garden. The other block shows a central area that houses a fireplace on the ground floor visible from outside through large glass walls. The first floor, designed for rooms and services to the guests, is characterized by a coating of clay.
The volume used to the facilities (kitchen, dining room, storage and staff rooms) acts as a link between the public and the private part of the villa. Perpendicular to that area, there is the private part dedicated to the family. This sector is proposed on two levels, the first one is the living area, the second one is the sleeping area.
Each of the spaces described enjoys an outdoor where vegetation and bodies of water help to mitigate the close atmosphere of the compound.
Place: Muthaiga, Nairobi, Kenya
Surface: 3,000 square meters (lot area), 1,000 square meters (built)
Status: concept, 2014