The inner box of the building remains rectangular whereas the outer layer protrudes on two sides towards the garden, thus becoming a cross. By using a double skin, the house is protected against direct sun, but the outer wall is also permeable and allows for a subdued light quality and attractive light pattern throughout the day. The inverted roof collects rainwater in a large cistern for domestic use and a park of solar panels on the roof provide electricity and hot water. The building is kept within its footprint and the garden is complementing this by, at times, mirroring interior to exterior.
The green creates the overall backdrop of the building, and an optimal microclimate is ensured as hard landscaping is minimalised and strategic vegetation acts as shading and filtering system. Altogether, this results in a sustainable and resilient composition.
The charm of an Aluminco aluminum system lies in its clean, simple design, but also in its practicality and ease of use in different environments.
In addition to the Colonial Planters’ house inspired vernacular approach, the design also reimagines elements of the traditional Coastal Swahili House typology. The verandas, loggias, balconies, and galleries that are part of the double façade create an intermediate world between the garden and the interior.
They allow for an interplay between private and public, highlighting the intricate and rich threshold condition that exists within local architecture and supports the Swahili lifestyle.
For this reason, public and communal areas are located on the ground floor whereas private spaces are distributed and separated on the second floor. All in all, the traditional Coastal Swahili House and the vernacular Colonial Planters’ house might have been the inspiration for this project and resulted in a context and climate responsive design, the translation of these age-old architecture styles are done in a contemporary fashion providing 21st century comfort and prestige.