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Daily Nation : February 13th 2014
DAILY NATION Thursday February 13, 2014 DN coverstory 3 Coca-Cola Plaza, Upper Hill This is the multinational’s headquarters for the Eastern, Central and Western Africa, a total of 39 countries. Designed by South African company GAPP Architects & Urban Designers in association with Triad Architects, the building was completed in 2008. Its design was derived from the Coca-Cola brand ribbon, with the company keen on a building that would capture its brand identity. According to a brief on GAPP’s website, the site was too constrained and the DNA strand took on a more compressed configuration, even though it maintained the curves. An aerial view reveals the “C” in the company’s flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola. (Coca-Cola were against publication of detailed photos of the building) Victoria Towers, Upper Hill The building’s design is bold in its sloping nature, attaining the intended image of a dhow. The aquatic theme is further emphasised by the colour scheme. The form was inspired by a dhow making its way in Lake Victoria, a representation which is almost immediately apparent. Designed by the architectural firm of Mutiso Menezes International, the 12-storey building was completed in the year 2,000. University of Nairobi Administration Block One of the best designed buildings in the city, the structure that also houses the university’s bookshop was originally used as a library. Designed by Henning and Chitty, the building was put up in the 1960s and the “rubble-faced” structure in front had a metaphor of a giraffe,”which expressed the idea that a library enabled the students to see far in the country’s development vision if they properly equipped themselves with the knowledge,” says the university’s Prof Robert Rukwaro. A building becomes iconic when its form is simple and unique. If you can draw a building with a few sweeps of the pen and everyone recognises not only the structure but also associates it with a place on earth, you have gone a long way towards creating something iconic. — British architect Thomas Wright The Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) Designed by Karl Henric Nostoric — although it has also been claimed that the Norwegian may have been assistant to then Chief Architect at the Ministry of Public Works, David Mutiso — and built by Gordon Melvin and Partners, the building was commissioned in 1967 by President Jomo Kenyatta and completed in 1973. Arguably the most recognisable structure in the country, KICC remains Nairobi’s poster building 40 years after it was completed. It is the face of the city and has acquired iconic status. For many, it has no peer in simplicity, elegance and the instantly recognisable connection to African culture. The president is said to have been particularly clear that he wanted a structure that represented black civilisation, and the result was a building that utilised African architecture, mostly the hut, which resembles the African traditional hut. Both the tower and the amphitheatre use the simple colour of traditional huts in most of the tribes while the exterior also gives a look of rough texture and colour as would have been common in pre-colonial times. Kenyatta International Conference Centre, therefore, is traditional yet modern. Rising 28 floors with a helipad and a rotating restaurant at the top, the building is now the third tallest in the capital city, but it is considered to stand above all the rest in the ‘Book of Masterpieces’. Lillian Towers Designed by Symbion International Architects, the 15-storey building houses the Nairobi Safari Club, a five star hotel. The design resembles a maize cob. Significantly, maize is the country’s staple food and this expresses a recognition of the importance of this grain, which is at the heart of Kenyan food. Each individual “maize seed” is expressed in the all-white façade and influences the design of the suites. Completed in 1984, the building houses 146 suites and is one of the most striking structures in the Central Business District.
February 12th 2014
February 14th 2014