Swahili Gem Apartments By Urko Sánchez Architects
Located on the east coast of Kenya, Mombasa, this modern apartment building is wrapped with a lacy structural shell, allowing privacy and optimize natural light. This project was designed by Urko Sánchez Architects and deals with the complexities of traditional cultural extrapolations and environmental comfort within the modern demands of aesthetics.
The building occupies a narrow, sloping lot located on the waterfront of Tudor creek. By adapting to the land’s natural slope, and by using locally available materials, the project naturally fits into this environment. Inspired by traditional Swahili design, Urko Sánchez Architects designed a two-layer shell facade that provides natural ventilation and prevents heat gain. The first acts as a barrier against excessive heat and sunlight, while the second layer is comprised of handcrafted wood-lattice shutters to provide privacy. Vegetation can be found in the patios and on the terraces, offering external activities. These outdoor spaces are accessible via lateral stairs that descend towards the creek, leading to an integrated gym at the bottom with an infinity pool.