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The Landmark
Drawings, plans, elevations
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The Landmark in Karen consists of small shopping units on three levels with two basement parking structures and a rooftop restaurant/ lounge area, all accommodated on a quarter acre parcel in the old Karen Provisional Store neighborhood. The defining points of consideration in this design were twofold, over and above the usual design considerations of usability, functionality etc: 1. The location: The shopping centre is located in the heart of Karen, one of the more culturally steeped locations in Nairobi. Principally Rustic in nature with an emphasis on the use of stone and timber which gives it a feel of a by-gone era. The design we came up with chose to import a lot of rustic qualities, while at the same time giving them an updated look. A modern take on the neo-colonial style of design. We achieved this by careful selection of our material palette: Wherever possible we used blue-gumpole walkways with exposed soffits, coupled with natural stone tiling as opposed to porcelain tiling. Externally we chose to go with coral stone cladding coupled with timber boarding and touches of natural stone to contrast with the textured render. The central atrium space was the principal organizing space, so we chose to create a small atrium garden, open three storeys to the roof. This lends an air of bringing the outside in. 2. Environmental considerations: The site was fairly small (quarter acre) and boxed in by two and three storey developments on either side. We needed to maximize on natural lighting, as well as create an enabling environment for natural air circulation to minimize the need for artificial cooling during the summer. Both of these were achieved in principle by using the central atrium space. The space is open through to the top and is only covered fairly high by the restaurant roof at the roof terrace level. This allows in a fair amount of reflected natural lighting to the central axis of the building, while at the same time creating a modified stack effect to let out warm air at the top. The front and back of the centre were kept intentionally open to allow for the inflow of air necessitated by the pressure difference created with the upward flow of warm air (refer to section alongside taken from our initial client presentation). Additionally, the rooftop was partly converted to a roof garden with grass covering to minimize the heat gain at the roof top level. This also served the purpose of creating an outdoor seating area for the restaurant. The two factors above combined to create a charming small shopping precinct which we feel blends in with its environs, but at the same time gives it a touch of modernity.
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