The Red Pepper House Lamu, Kenya
It was normal to see people built traditional huts using the natural materials that are available to them. They did that because it was the only why that they can build a shelter that can suit their climate, culture and architecture possibilities at that time. However, seeing a modern hut at this time!! It is really weird, with all architectural developments that we have today, all these types of materials that can suit any climatic region and all technology that we own today we can still see a building that created as a form of organic architecture!!.
Lying on the ground in the forest located on the island of Lamu, Kenya towards the north end of the town, the plot is immersed in vegetation and bordered by the beach on its southeast slopes. This house project built as a traditional/modern hut that had balance traditional craft and modern requirements, where it use straw and wood with stone, and mud to form one not only of the wonder but also one of the stranger buildings in architecture world within our days. It was possible to accept its idea if it was a hotel for example but as private residence!! It was really weird for me.
This house combines greenery, water, and history forms one of my dream houses to live in. Although it is a private house, the good news is that you can still rent part of it and enjoy Kenya traditional huts life in Lamu and be experimenting with the way of life living in the past, where there was absent of the real architecture.
Which really make me great admiration for this house that even though it was built by Kenya traditional huts style, it is really remained me of Bahrain traditional houses that no more existing. The use of straw into the roof and the trees twigs walls remained me of my grandmother’s house when I was a child. I do not need another reason to take the decision and luggage packages to visit this project at the earliest opportunity to reclaim childhood memories that I really missed.
Bahraini traditional houses
Eight-acre plot surrounded by an acacia forest from the Red Pepper House area. In an attractive way the house elements were drawn in the open spaces between the trees, so they do not cut or harm the site nature. By a distinctive thinking the client request for designed his house into 5 different zones that can be taken by the whole family or reduced to one if he was alone. Vividly fulfilling the friendship, Fernando (the residence client) request that one acre of his plot to be designed secluded for his friend to form the sixth zone of this house.
Its organization challenges the respect of all trees on site and exploit the benefit of their exist to create a disposition of open/closed and sunny/shadow areas, that makes the lighting inside the house really attractive. The complexity of the project extends into the use of the local construction systems, workmanship, and sense of space. Which make this project looking towards the future yet having one leg grounded in the past that give it a special character.
As an interesting feature to experiment the life in the nature environment without any barriers. Using of different levels of closure to create a transition between indoors and outdoors. Inside the house, you can found a coral stone masonry houses on the sandy beach creating a scattered urban pattern. They used this layout and material to form the bedrooms, which are the only fully enclosed spaces in this house.
Respect the surrounding environment and being part of it, create many open spaces, and exploit the benefit of trees exist to play within the shade and shadow. But its most striking feature is the Swahilli architecture the makuti roof, which runs continuously to cover the whole house zones and the use of trees twigs to create walls for some places that form traditional Kenny huts, which take me far away from the present where childhood memories are in grandma’s house.
This project was well deserved to leave an impression of presence in the world of architecture by all its features, style and its association with the past.