A new flagship building for the British American Insurance Company (Kenya), Britam Tower, designed by GAPP Architects & Urban Designers in collaboration with Triad Architects, has been recognised by Emporis in their Top Ten New Skyscrapers of 2017.
This recognition has placed them in the company of Zaha Hadid Architects, UNStudio and SOM – whose schemes feature on the list, and Kohn Pederson Fox Associates whose, Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, was named the overall winner.
The Emporis Skyscraper Award is a renowned prize for high-rise architecture and is presented annually, recognising excellence in aesthetic and functional design for buildings of 100 metres or taller which were completed during the previous calendar year.
The story behind Britam Tower
At over 200m high, the elegant prism-shaped tower is the second-tallest building in Africa.
Centrally situated within the commercial Upper Hill precinct of Nairobi, Britam Tower consists of a 31-storey tower, a six-storey entrance and grand retail atrium, a ten-storey parkade and three levels of basement parking. The project has added more than 31 500m² of lettable commercial space to the region.
The building’s prominent design arose in response to the client brief to define a modern, yet elegant building within Nairobi’s skyline. Inspired by the iconic Mount Kenya, the prismatic geometry allows for a variety of floor plate sizes and tenant requirements while providing panoramic views over the surrounding city.
Each level is designed to maximise available floor space, promoting collaboration and visuo-spatial exploration – highly conducive to a healthy work environment.
The tower consists of several retail units at ground level, with 30 floors of office space as well as a service level. The building’s geometric form is capped by a sculptural mast that sits atop the tower. This 67m helical spire, originally designed as a wind turbine, celebrates the apex of the building and provides a prominent contribution to Nairobi’s skyline.
Designed to meet international safety and environmentally sustainable practices, this state-of-the-art building incorporates several innovative design strategies. The facade features a full height high-performance glazing system incorporating two types of glazing and a secondary ceramic rod screening structure to provide shading while optimising the use of natural daylight, as well as reducing glare and solar gain.
Natural ventilation is used extensively to cool the building, with high- and low-level windows that can be opened to draw in fresh air, allowing occupants to regulate thermal comfort. In addition, the building incorporates several sustainable technologies ranging from energy-efficient fittings and fixtures, rainwater harvesting, sustainable cladding and materials, as well as indigenous planting to minimise water requirements.
These team members worked tirelessly on ensuring a building that is an inspiration to others. Its aesthetics and functional attributes are key in acquiring the recognition of Emporis. Britam Tower can stand proud with its fellow top ten nominees.
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