Enchoro, Kenyan heaven
TAG Architecture - Kenya
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Located under the equator at an altitude of 1600m on the mount Kenya slopes, this remote commission involved the creation of a vineyard. The objectives of the build was a sustainable approach of the site, a minimization of the footprint, an optimum incorporation & unhindered continuity between the natural and built environ. The location is wonderfully remote and only local material has been utilized giving to the building a sense of place but used in a contemporary way to preserve the clarity of the internal volume. The lack of sophisticated local building expertise & equipment coupled to a tight budget, guided us towards a simple, informal, bright and modern home providing a nuance of 'outside living-space’. The key design gesture of the house is the central roof plane rising almost imperceptibly from the eastern elevation. It's refined lines converging at the apex before plunging through a deeper angle on the western façade. Being in a remote place depending on manual / local workmanship using only basic materials, we choose a ferro-cement roofing with recess gutters fabricated on-site while allowing us to serve its adaptive design. A series of full-height openings and cantilevers span on South and North elevation, providing natural shade. The idea is the roof will appear to be an airplane wing lightly resting on retaining walls made of local stone throughout the volumes detached from the roof, extending out into the landscape, enclose outdoor space therein blurring the distinction between inside and outside. The concrete flooring has a large wooden deck terrace extension hanging over the field below. These features endow the place with afree-floating ambiance. Natural materials were used throughout such as local soil mixed with cement for gathering-area’s floors; untreated internal plastering composed of lime and sand; red cedar flooring in bedrooms and terraces; mahogany flush doors and furniture. Similar color and materials for inside, outside flooring, counter tops and wall cladding reinforce the sense of seamless lines while keeping it simple, comfortable and relaxing. In summary, its' quality of light, color and texture catch the eye and make you feel very connected to the distinctive setting. The construction methods, gradation of closed, open and semi-open spaces in combination with the building’s orientation, provide natural ventilation and lighting, shade and retreat from the heat, enabling the house to operate in balance with nature throughout the year, meeting our goal to produce a house with zero energy (heating/cooling) requirement.
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