Rethinking affordable housing in Kenya by Citythinking

“We bring together research and cutting-edge technology into new ways of designing and managing affordable city extensions.”ANJA SOPHIA EHRENFRIED

Citythinking is an international consultancy firm. From their Headquarters in Seville -Spain, and their REP Office in Moscow – Russia, Citythinking has focused during the last 15 years on the design, management and construction of sustainable and affordable city models and city extensions in emergent countries like Russia, Africa and India.
More and more people are living in cites. This creates new challenges and new opportunities. But above all it creates increasingly complex questions to be dealt with
In this way, Citythinking delivers integral design and management solutions to tackle the affordable housing challenge based on the digital transformation in the construction industry of the new urban era through multiscalar and standardization strategies.
Based on extensive research and support of technology, Citythinking develops urban and architectural design grounded on sustainable indicators resulting in the optimization of self-efficiency, the use of energy, social cohesion, quality of life and urban complexity.

1st Prize International Competition
Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
Project program: Area: 100,22 Ha / TBA: 499.515 m²
Date: 2016 – Construction on-going
Scope of work: Masterplan, Residential Product Design up to Building Permit

Tatu City is a demand driven, 5,000-acre mixed-use development with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors. It is located 24km from Nairobi’s central business district at exit 11 on Thika Superhighway and easily accessible from both the Northern and Eastern by-passes.

It represents a new way of living and thinking for all Kenyans, creating a unique live, work and play environment that is free from traffic congestion and long-distance commuting.

In Tatu Waters, Citythinking sought to rethink design and development stages for middle-dense, instant construction, mixed-use affordable residential city extensions. Citythinking approach is to tackle the land from a holistic approach grounded on the latest state of the art regarding design and technology.

In this sense, key targets for development were:

• Scalable and replicable, sustainable development model.
• Improvement of local citizens’ quality of life.
• Preservation of natural, social and patrimonial local values.
• Standardization and industrialization of urban and architectural solutions based on the Technological tool PSP and PSA developed by Citythinking.

The result is a neighbourhood that is completely integrated into the wider environment, adapted to the original topography of the terrain that preserves local flora and fauna. The urban atmosphere within the community binds itself with the natural elements of the Kenyan territory. A dense public space network connects the existing green areas in the North and South of the plot which enables walkability and provides the site with all kinds of public facilities in order to guarantee the day by day needs of the inhabitants without leaving the security limit.

The 2,700 homes at Tatu Waters are designed to answer the needs of future residents with varying lifestyles, mixing blocks from 5 to 9 storey condominiums with semi private courtyards, to townhouses with private gardens and terraces, all based on a minimum number os prefabricated modules and elements to speed up the design and construction process and to control the impact in time and cost – and in this way to guaranty the feasibility of the Project.

by Annja Sophia Enrenfried

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