Akili Tower
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Akili tower is a 30 storey mixed use tower in Nairobi Kenya. Designed for local developer, Frontier Properties it received planning permission earlier this year. SITE The site is located on he prow of Upper Hill overlooking Uhuru Park and the Central Business District. Its commanding position will give the best views of the city and will make it a landmark within the cityscape. USE The mixture of uses includes: – retail at lower levels – car parking above – restaurant and conference facilities at podium level – office and residential in the main body of the tower The diverse mix of uses will encourage a 24 hour vibrant culture where people want to live, work and play The shape of the tower is largely driven by the wedge shaped site. The podium fills the footprint of the land with the most efficient car parking layout . In the tower the tapered corner is mirrored around the central lift core resulting in a plan similar in shape to the Maasai shield and emblem of the Kenyan flag. The building is a simple and powerful form using raw earthy materials that you might expect to find locally; Concrete, stone and polished terracotta form the basis of the external cladding giving the building solidity. It is intentionally detailed to have a brutal appearance up close, yet from a distance, the concrete exoskeleton appears fragile and delicate with an almost shell like quality. Its fragility is emphasised where the building gets thinner at its extremities as it becomes more transparent, reflecting the plan form in the buildings elevation. The layering of surfaces within the primary concrete frame helps breaks down the tower in to visually manageable blocks which reduces the scale of the building to the human eye. each concrete bay contains 4 floors with a secondary order of 2 storey louvres separated by solar panels. What we hope to end up with is a simple elegant form with a top a middle and a bottom, broken down into understandable elements within which there is a complex, sophisticated layering of materials and scales. At ground level a landscaped public forecourt encourages milling and large triple height glazed windows bring light into the basement retail but also invite passers by into the building.This is a simple inclusive tool missing from much of the cities existing building stock where buildings typically turn their backs on the public realm with barbed wire fences and barriers. One of the key challenges will be to satisfy a culture reliant on security with a building which embraces its surroundings.
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