LOCATION Nairobi, Kenya
YEAR 2021
THEME Architecture, Institution spaces, Embassy
STATUS Competition
DESIGNERS Tomaso Monestiroli, Luca Cardani
TEAM Claudia Angarano, Serena Ferretti, Alessandro Perego

The design of the architecture of the Embassy historically has to do with the theme of representing the encounter between mutually host cultures, which must be defined in a formal system capable of expressing a dialogue between traditions and foreshadowing the possibilities for cultural enrichment that this dialogue allows.
These themes were the focus of the design proposal aimed at developing a hypothesis that can anticipate some salient features of the Embassy to be developed in the project.

The main design idea is to orient the whole project by following the course of the contours of the slope to build a system of retaining walls and terracing, able to tell the relationship between architecture and nature, as in the Italian building tradition.
The choice was made to entrust the representative character of the Embassy to the construction of a complex naturalistic and architectural system and not to the construction of a single, iconic architecture. Hanging gardens and buildings are joined by paths and plazas along the retaining walls, constructing a spatial sequence in succession; an architecturale promenade, overlooking the striking natural landscape, at the top of which, at the most significant point, are the Embassy buildings.

It consists of two in-line frame buildings open to relationships with the land, expressing through the language of a white-painted trilithic system, on which rests a large inverted pitched roof for shading, the dialogue between Italian and Kenyan building cultures, represented by the wall systems of the buildings placed in front for collective functions, plastered with the red earth rich in iron oxide found throughout Nairobi.
The entire complex, following the contour lines rather than the orientation of the entrance, stretches out on the slope in off-angles, thus showing all its development, its relationship with nature, the system of paths and terraces on which it stands, and immediately manifesting itself to those who come to the Embassy in its entirety with the character of a Representative Building composed of different parts arranged according to a hierarchy that tells its meaning, the representative character of the complex linked to the context in which it is located and to the building traditions of the two cultures that are united here.