As reported by Construction Review, Kenya is set to construct the largest mall space on the periphery of Nairobi’s City Centre designed by British architecture firm aLL Design and Kiloran Development Group.
The 28 5oo sqm open-air mall will be the first project in Africa for the British architects and will offer a mixed use space featuring a shopping centre and grade A office project. It will have 24,300 sqm of retail, food and beverage along with a 4,200 sqm, seven-storey office tower overlooking the mall’s roof garden and bar. Completion is slated for spring of 2020.
aLL Design have won planning permission for a new retail concept in Nairobi, Kenya. The centre will be aLL Design’s first project in Kenya and the late Professor Alsop’s only project in Africa.
The contents of the mall will be characterised by a ‘sweet factory’ theme with many details commissioned by local craftspeople and artisans as well as those using the latest manufactured materials and technology. The Beacon is intended to bring delight to locals and tourists; the vivid colours and striking patterns of the façade will hint at the amusements and leisure facilities inside. A light monorail with ‘jellybean’ style carriages is planned; a helter-skelter, piano staircase and merry-go-round will enliven the space and encourage community interaction and shared experience. Playful twists on form and function will fulfil Alsop’s desire that architecture should always be fun.
The main façade to Uhuru Highway is clad in monochromatic porcelain panels broken by a bright red leisure box. Internally, mallscape walkways are sheltered from seasonal rain and sun by colourful solar fabric canopies. A thatched rooftop restaurant and solid surface clad bar sit atop a biodiverse brown roof.
It is intended that the mall will become a destination in its own right and will sit well on its prime retail pitch immediately between major employment zones; the Central Business District, the Industrial Area and Upper Hill financial district, broadening the localised leisure offer to provide facilities that encourage longer dwell time onsite by visiting families with children; teenagers and young people. It is a shared commitment to ‘create places people like’ and a common approach to promote shopping experience that brought Kiloran and Will Alsop, with his team at aLL Design, together on this flagship development for East Africa.
“We were intrigued by Kiloran’s ideas for this mall in Nairobi and were pleased to be able create an open-air mall with a focus on sustainability, fun and family which we believe to be key drivers on future international mall design.”
-Marcos Rosello, co-founder of aLL Design
‘The Beacon’ is the first project in Africa for the late Will Alsop and aLL Design and is the second shopping centre-led development for Kiloran LLP, who have offices in both London and Nairobi. The challenge to deliver an Alsop /aLL Design concept in East Africa has been addressed by Kiloran through direct engagement with first class specialist engineers, fabricators, suppliers and subcontractors.
Kiloran is focused on value-driven sustainability at conceptual level and through the encouragement of local fabrication and procurement. The concepts of both fun and sustainability are not applied merely as devices; rather they are designed into the grain of development. The completion and grand opening of ‘The Beacon’ is planned for the spring of 2020 and the building will be an architectural legacy for Nairobi that will serve to promote tourism.