African Construction Projects – Kenya
Here is commentary on some of the latest construction projects in Kenya that will require energy saving LED area lighting solutions.
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Rumaisa: The Epitome of Modern Living
Rumaisa is an iconic development in Nairobi that will redefine the concept of urban luxury living. It seems that with every project that Aleem Manji Architects undertake, the firm outdoes itself in terms of imagination.
Set on 1.5 acres in the tranquil Riverside area of Nairobi which is home to high end residential and commercial developments as well diplomatic missions, Rumaisa is designed to provide the ultimate in luxury. It employs an open plan guaranteeing fresh air circulation and plenty of natural light. It strikes a balance between private seclusion and group entertainment.
The entire development consists of 66 duplex apartments (35 three-bedroom and 31 four-bedroom) housed on 19 levels. These apartments feature en-suite bedrooms, a family room and servant’s quarters.
There are nine blocks distributed around the courtyard with at least two having river frontage. The rooftop interconnects all the nine blocks allowing one to walk from one block to the other. On level 5, the architect has created eight units with a private garden for each.
The development has three rooftop infinity pools, including a heated one, where residents can unwind as they marvel at the breathtaking view of the city. Other attractions include pool bar, gym, open air Jacuzzi, kids’ play area and a fireplace.
The courtyard itself is a story on its own. The lower courtyard garden consists of an undisturbed riparian ecosystem that provides a cool and serene wild environment. A large lawn opens to the middle of the courtyard and offers different possibilities – from play to group parties. The cascading pool featuring a mazeras path across it opens into a meditation space that is laid out with benches. The front façade of the garden overlooks a 30 ft high waterfall on an art wall creating the experience of a high falling sheet of water when lit at night.
The waterfront promenade is a long water feature occurring in the middle of the courtyard. It creates precedent and connects the upper floor spaces to the lower courtyard through a waterfall. The still pool at the reception garden consists of fountain jets that create a gushing effect. The art wall separates the water garden from the parking. The relaxation decks occur at different intervals allowing residents to experience a zen atmosphere.
Project Managers: Villapoint Company Ltd
Services Engineers: Aruna Patel & Associates
Interiors Designer: Studio Aurora
RUPA’s Mall: An Iconic Development in Eldoret
Eldoret is the fifth largest urban centre in Kenya and is located about 320 kilometres North West of the capital city Nairobi in a predominantly agricultural part of the country. The town is well connected by road and air with a major trunk road (A104) that connects Kenya and Uganda passing right through the town. Eldoret is also served by an international airport currently used by domestic passengers and international cargo airlines.
The town is also a convergence point serving as a connector to many other towns in the surrounding areas including Kitale, Webuye and Bungoma.
Eldoret is rated as one of the fastest growing urban centres in Kenya with an expanding middle class boasting substantial disposable income. Consequently, investors have come in to cater for this vast market, a situation that has given rise to the proliferation of small to medium shopping complexes, medical centres and other facilities.
Unfortunately, despite this large profile, Eldoret still lacks the kind of shopping and lifestyle facilities that have taken root in Nairobi and other major urban centres. The current premises housing such facilities are congested, have limited parking and access is a nightmare for patrons.
However, all this is set to change. By September this year, one of the largest malls outside Nairobi is set to open in Eldoret.
RUPA’s Mall, currently under construction, is an expansive development spread out on 8.5 acres. The development, will host among others a 100-room hotel, a supermarket, restaurants, offices, banks, cinema theatre, children’s play area and water park as well as regular retail shops such as boutiques. The total built-up area is 35,000 square metres making it one of the largest developments of that kind in Kenya outside the capital city.
RUPA’s Mall is an investment by the one of the largest textile manufacturing companies in East and Central Africa. According to Ravi Shah, the Finance Director, the idea of putting up a mall in Eldoret was driven by a desire to provide a one-stop shop for residents of the town and neighbouring areas. “Eldoret lacks proper services,” he says. “There are only a couple of supermarkets. You cannot even find a cinema here; which is why we decided to bring all these services under one roof.”
Ravi estimates that at peak hours, the population of Eldoret reaches nearly 1 million people. It is this vast population that RUPA’s Mall intends to cater for.
By all standards, the development is massive and one may fail to appreciate the magnitude of the project without a visit to the site. The front and rear parking area will accommodate about 500 cars. Water features begin right at the lobby and will be part of the biggest attractions. The large children’s water park is set adjacent to a soon-to-be lush green garden that will provide opportunities for relaxation and can also host functions such as wedding and other social events. The entire recreational area sits on at least 3.5 acres.
The twin towers on either side of the complex protrude into the sky providing breathtaking views of Eldoret and the surroundings from the top. One tower hosts the hotel while the other houses offices, shops and other businesses. The architects have created an atrium to improve aesthetics, air circulation and natural lighting.
RUPA’s Mall will feature a perforated aluminium façade. According to Ravi, behind this façade will be a special lighting that will be remotely controlled to light up the frontage; meaning that management can change colours depending on the season.
Imported porcelain and granite tiles will be used in the building which will also exclusively use LED lighting to save on energy costs. The building will be served by 10 ultra-modern lifts as well as escalators, making it truly the first state-of-the-art commercial development in Eldoret.
A standby generator will be installed to ensure steady supply of power. The entire development is ringed with a perimeter wall for easier provision of security.
The mall, designed by Nairobi architect Satish Shah and his Spanish counterpart Francisco Ortiz Luna who is the interior designer for the mall, is located right on the town’s main road (Uganda Road) as you approach from Nakuru. There are also plans to make the mall accessible from Elgeyo Road for the convenience of patrons approaching from that side.
Construction works began in March 2015 and the mall is expected to be open by September this year. The current works are at about 85 percent complete with the main structure already complete.
Interior Designer – Francisco Ortiz Luna and Ben Kiptanui, Kasa International
Electrical Engineer – John Akali, Elemech
Main Contractor – Mr Chi, China Young Tai Engineering
Nairobi Serena Gears up for Major Upgrade
It is indisputably one of the most prestigious hotels with a rich history in Kenya. Indeed when the history of Kenya’s hospitality industry is finally written, Nairobi Serena Hotel will feature prominently as one of the leading five star hotels that have put the country on the world map. This it has done by not only providing quality and unrivalled services but also by being the hotel where the agreement that saved Kenya from plunging into the abyss following a disputed general election in 2007 was signed.
Being a flagship of the Serena Group of Hotels that trades under the name Tourism Promotion Services (TPS Serena) and comprises a collection of 36 luxury resorts, safari lodges and hotels in Africa and Asia, Nairobi Serena Hotel considers itself an oasis of calm in the centre of the city. This is rightly so. Located just next to the historic Uhuru Park, the hotel offers an ambience of calm in a buzzing city. Despite being within only five minutes from the central business district, Nairobi Serena Hotel offers customers who include business travellers, tourists, international diplomatic guests, local clients and many others, an environment to serenely conduct business, hold conferences or unwind.
It is for this reason that Nairobi Serena Hotel, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, has consistently been voted as Nairobi’s best hotel. In recent times, the hotel which is home to the iconic Mandhari fine-dining experience, has been voted Africa’s Leading Green Hotel – 2016, Kenya’s Leading Business Hotel – 2016, Africa’s Leading Green Hotel – 2015 and Kenya’s Leading Hotel – 2015 by the prestigious World Travel Awards.
To cement its position as the leading hotel in Kenya, Nairobi Serena Hotel is set to implement a Sh2.2 billion (US$23m) expansion and upgrade project that will enhance its magnificent Pan-African themed designs when completed in April 2018. The project, which is being spearheaded by Symbion Kenya Ltd, one of the region’s top architectural firms, will involve revamping and expanding nearly all its facilities.
“The project aims to give the hotel an entirely new fresh look while maintaining the features that Nairobi Serena Hotel is known for,” according to the architects. The expansion will involve the construction of a new ball room that will have a capacity to accommodate 350 people, new meeting rooms, a new specialty restaurant and an additional executive 7th floor. It will also involve refurbishment of existing hotel rooms and installation of new mechanical and electrical services.
The entire reception experience is being revisited and made significantly larger, whilst at the same time incorporating a new link to a purpose designed conference and banqueting facility. Combined with the Amani Room and the hotel’s other premium brand meeting and conferencing facilities, this new destination, supported by additional car parking spaces, will consolidate Nairobi Serena’s position as the capital’s leading business and leisure hotel.
The new reception lobby and lounge will be made more inviting with generous provision of ubiquitous WI-FI, phone /laptop plugin charge points and ample sit down spaces to meet and socialize in small groups. The new reception will have improved security features, existing lifts will be upgraded and a luggage lift introduced. The upgrade will also introduce a themed restaurant, which will accord guests the opportunity to access it separately from the hotel’s main entrance. The specialty restaurant is an add on to the existing Maghreb, Mandhari and Axum bars
The upgrade would not be complete without the addition of a VIP floor at the roof top that features a lounge with meeting rooms and executive suites. The VIP lounge will allow people to work in a public area, meet with guests and still allow them their privacy. The VIP lounge will also offer extended F&B services distinct from the dining and restaurants located at the ground floor.
It is important to note that The Nairobi Serena Hotel has distinguished itself as a champion in green way of doing business to guarantee sustainability of the hospitality and tourism industry. Over the past five years, the hotel has been named Africa’s top green hotel three times because of using the latest technology to recycle waste, reduce pollution and save on power.
According to the architects, emphasis on green initiatives will be a crucial aspect of the expansion project. Notably, high efficiency plumbing fittings will be incorporated in the refurbishment and native plant species that require little or no irrigation will be used in landscaping. Energy recovery units and heat pumps will be installed to provide preheated water to the boiler while a robust waste recycling and solid waste management programme that harnesses the latest technology will be deployed. Other interventions will include enhancement of natural lighting for lobbies and bedrooms with improved indoor environment and air quality, use of low-e glass as well as environmentally friendly paints.
The Hotel will remain fully functional during the construction period and the project team has designed a work schedule that ensures minimal business disruption. Contractor access and staging areas have been kept adjacent to Nyerere Road, leaving Processional Way primarily for guest access. The refurbishment will be achieved by splitting the hotel into North and South blocks with buffer spaces maintained between guest occupied and contractor occupied areas . Integration of new and existing services will be a major challenge but the team expects to execute the entire project seamlessly.
Project Managers : Betts Townsend (Pty) Ltd
Main Contractor: Parbat Seyani
Electrical Subcontractors: Patronics Services Ltd
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