Tudor Apartments – Description of Urko Sanchez Architects.
Tudor Apartments is an intimate project of 14 apartments in Tudor Creek-Mombasa. Enveloped in a musharabieh structural shell, the building is distinctive in its creative design, ensuring privacy and optimizing natural ventilation&lighting.
We took the challenge of translating our contemporary Swahili style to a groundbreaking high-rise structure where the apartments benefit from the experience of outdoor living, contact with nature and the integration of the surroundings into each private home.
By the challenge of translating our contemporary Swahili style to a groundbreaking high-rise structure we had to make sure the building was designed in a way that it:
- Inherited the passive system for climate condition of the traditional Swahili architecture integrating them with 21st century energy saving systems.
- Preserved the cultural aspects & fundamentals of the region and its different communities
- Promoted the use of local materials and labours.
All of this, meanwhile giving the architectural proposal a modern twist and developing the project in a sustainable and cost efficient way.
In order to meet those objectives we went through the following process.
An accurate study of the plot was done in order to get to know its surroundings and be able to integrate the architecture within the landscape and neighbourhood. The study was focused on:
Existing trees and vegetation, Site orientation and sun incident, Winds, Potential sources of green energy, Plot access, Topography, Existing buildings, Street views, Creek views
Swahili heritage research
Together with the plot and climate study it was carried a research on Swahili architecture spaces, materials and closing systems.
One of the biggest concerns of this project was how to integrate the Swahili architecture fundamentals to modern architecture as well as how to adapt traditional Swahili spaces to XXI century Kenyan life style.
Key concept guidelines
We worked together with the client to define the key concepts which together with the site study would guide us through the project design:
Edges and openings, Transitional spaces, Layers, Courtyard, Displaying something precious, Shadow and light, Materiality
The Building’s Skin
Once the main distribution of the apartments was done as a result of the integration of the previous plot study with the key ideas, we start investigation on the building’s skin.
This research went on for a long time as we got deeply into the Swahili ventilation and closing systems of lattices, in&out spaces, use of local materials, respect for the privacy on the apartments, protection against climate, highlight of the views towards the creek and the integration with its surroundings…
As a result of this research, the building skin is the base for this project as it meets 4 different requirements:
– Structural purpose
– Facade aesthetics/ integration with its surroundings
– Privacy versus creek views
– Sun protection