August 25 2020 0Comment

Design ideas

  1. Large windows: Whereas windows cost at least 4 times the cost of a wall (per square metre), natural lighting is essential to achieving great spaces. It is better to reduce the size of one’s construction project so that ‘savings achieved can be substituted to cater for the cost of windows. Work with your architect to have them.
  2. Flat roof to reclaim land. As an urban builder, reclaim land by having a usable flat roof. There is general fear of flat roofs. However, it is an oxymoron as the same fear does not apply when bathrooms that probably have water twice a day, are on first floor. All roofs leak when they are not well maintained. Enjoy a flat roof.
  3. Simplify your colours and textures. Avoid plastering beams and columns or putting mazeras or bricks under windows and plastering walling above the ring beam (What is commonly referred to as rental or lindo). Let’s not be stuck in the past.
  4. If you must have a pitched roof, avoid putting what fundis call ‘kofia’ and ‘maskio’. Those two features reek of effort and that is not classy. As much as possible, keep your roof simple and low pitched. If you find yourself dwelling too much on the roof design, you will most certainly lose out on many other possibilities. If you want many possibilities, insist to your architect that you want a boring roof, then wait for magic.
  5. Deconstruct your mind on how you perceive windows. Three large slits on a wall can act as a window. This makes the outer facade interesting and interior spaces classy.
  6. Explore cantilevers. A cantilever is a long projecting beam or slab fixed at only one end. These give variations in the external look of a building without heavy and busy façadal emblazonment/ornamentation.
  7. Keep facades simple and clean. Excess effort will most certainly land you in what Kenyans call ‘mathogothanio’ which is really just a French word meaning ‘cacophonic composition’. Nobody wants a mathogothanio house.


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