Architecture, Kenya, Mashrabiya, Mashrabiya facade, Middle Eastern architecture, Mombasa, Nairobi, Urko Sanchez Architects

Urko Sanchez Architects uses mashrbiya screens for residential project in Kenya

Nairobi-based Urko Sanchez Architects has covered these apartments in Mombasa, Keya in mashrabiya-style screens to provide residents with privacy in addition to allowing for sea views.

The architects referenced the Middle East’s decorative latticed screens, mashrabiya to ensure natural lighting and ventilation.

White plaster was used for the shell which forms the main structure of the building, supporting the building which is covered in coral stone using a local technique.

“The skin was rendered entirely structural thanks to the engineering team,” said the architects.

“A novelty to Kenya, such structural skin was possible thanks to local and international engineers working hand by hand, and to the steel workers on-site who managed, by dedication and care, flawless bar bending work without access to any technology.”

The screens cover three sides of the Tudor Apartments building with balconies and terraces set for the fourth side, offering residents views of the nearby creek.

The Tudor Apartments overlooks the coast and is surrounded by a housing development to one side and a private residence on the other, which is planned to be later turned into another apartment block.

Mashrabiya has been used in a number of contemporary projects by international architects, both in the Middle East and abroad. Some of these projects include the works of French architect Jean Nouvel, who created a mashrabiya facade for his Doha Tower as well as Institut du Monde Arabe building in Paris.

Foster + Partners also used mashrabiya in its design for the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi.

Here you can view more projects that use mashrabiya in contemporary architecture.