The client approached us requesting that a section of the car park be turned into a community courtyard/piazza. The whole idea was to create a multifunctional space which can be used for various events such as fashion shows, out door cinemas, markets. The key aspect of the brief, and an important part of our design was to provide elements for children’s play which feel part of the space. So adults and children enjoy the space together.
Its very important to take note that there are hardly any public spaces within Nairobi. In recent years we have seen an increase of private and commercial entities seeing the commercial benefit of providing spaces for people as a considered draw to their establishment.
This is one of those projects.
Some key thinking behind the design was to have large, 3 metre high, and 600mm wide walls to really give a sense of solitude from the city, and to provide a safe place for children to play.
Another exciting element was using deciduous indigenous trees (Calodendrum capense) which flower and drop their leaves twice a year with the corresponding wet and dry seasons. This idea of making people more aware of the fluctuations of nature, even in the tropics was important, and highlighted in the urban setting of the project.