A Canopy House in Nairobi 

Nairobi, Kenya

Type: Residential Refurbishment and Extension
Client: Private
Contract Value: Undisclosed
Status: Completed March 2020

This project was to re-imagine a private residential house that was sited in a steep and lush hill. Our response to the landscape was guided by two driving principles: move the cars away from the entrance and create a ‘zebra’ courtyard to make the arrival a pedestrian ceremony. Secondly, to build a cantilevering terrace that would float over the steep site and connect the house with the tree canopies and the woodland understorey.

Paying homage to the existing dwelling was at the forefront of the design. Instead of demolishing it, we investigated what was underneath and brought it back to life. For example, the low ceiling height in the social area was actually an artificial suspended ceiling concealing a pitched roof built of Indian teak joists. These existing joists became a key design feature which we cleaned up, exposed, and extended with a similar lattice structure. The lattice roof demarcates the new extension, whilst the traditional joists reflect the original building.