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U.S. Embassy — Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya

The focus for the campus development is to create the framework necessary to bring all buildings into a unified experience for all employees on compound. The redesigned circulation across the expanded site allowed for the creation of a new “land bridge” connecting office buildings. The terraces above the partially below-grade workshops create a usable, shared amenity, flush with native plantings, that connect to the landscaped land bridge and are designed to slow the inundation of rainwater events. All stormwater is managed on-site, contributing to LEED® Gold certification.

The east-to-west orientation of the building helps reduce internal solar heat gain. North and south ribbon windows with integrated solar shades reduce solar heat gain and maximize indirect daylight. East and west facades minimize glazing to reduce the effects of low afternoon sun. Materials are chosen to harmonize with the existing stucco-clad buildings, yet to create a maintainable future.

Construction Completion - 2022

Central to the site strategy was upending the vehicular pathway on site by inverting it from a central cut through the property to a discreet outer ring of connectivity, aided by the natural grade change. The steep, nine-meter grade change is used as an opportunity to re-orient the vehicular drive and to facilitate program co-location, allowing two subterranean floors to open to the south with the representational entrance above, connecting to the new “land bridge.”

02 Land Bridge

The result is a universally accessible episodic landscape journey between existing and new buildings, each segment representing a biome of Kenya. Kenya experiences a variety of ecological issues, deforestation and draught being two of the more serious. Throughout the biome walk endangered Kenyan tree species are used to help retain the indigenous habitat.

03 Site Plan
05 A Exterior Pattern Detail 2

A high-performance fiber cement rainscreen is detailed with weep and sill details designed to keep environmental staining of the rainscreen material. Detailling of the system includes steep window sills to aid in self-washing of the surfaces.

06 A Combined

The interior is designed to promote daylight, openness and mobility. An egress stair is central to the building, and helps to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for able-bodied employees. An iconic experience further helps to minimize load on vertical transportation.

07 Site