The English point marina apartments and gated community has perhaps been in the mouths of all investors and real estate buffs for close to two years now. But what does it have to offer in the architectural scene?
It is the region’s first serviced marina to cater for the luxury boating world. English Point Marina is a contemporary development designed by Broadway Malyan, a major international architectural practice.
It offers apartment living in the comfort, luxury and security of a hotel .Onsite facilities include a hotel, restaurant, spa & gym, serviced marina, water-sport center, boardwalk with retail outlets and underground car parking. EnglishPoint is located on a 4 acre beach front site, across the creek from the historic Fort Jesus and spectacular skyline of Mombasa old town.
The architects sort to create the marina feel, the white washed walls and niches specifically placed on balconies and an airy feel to the apartment buildings give the look of a ship concept with most of the walls gently arching into a straight profile vertically. This allows for the articulation of the façade and with the typical floor plan arrangement then gives a playful feel to the whole elevation treatment.
The establishment provides for a contemporary feel in a region dominated by indigenous architecture with its surrounding across the creek being donned by the Fort Jesus, the old town nearby and the new town not far beyond. As such it brings in an eclectic sea line that not only provides for drama, but also a refreshing chemistry.
Interior spaces have that ordinary hotel look but what really provides the zing is the views outside and how the white walls and traces of hue variation do well to luster.
The entire establishment had an assessment on the environmental and low carbon. The XCO2 Energy company set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operational costs, through energy consultancy and environmental design and engineering. Their role was to carry out on-site microclimate analysis specific to the site and use this information to provide design guidance to architects, Broadway Malyan. The intention was to make building efficiency paramount to the scheme. After efficiency measures were designed into the architecture, the firm developed a low carbon building services strategy, selecting efficient systems across the development. The final stage was to develop a low carbon energy strategy for the development which included efficient energy supply with clean generation on site from renewable technologies.
A full feasibility of all available options for efficiency and energy generation was carried out using environmental modeling which enabled them to simulate a 3D computer model of the scheme against recorded weather data from the site. This methodology is a means of making very accurate predictions on energy use and generating annual energy demand profiles to ensure cost-effective technologies are selecting, producing paybacks and high CO2 savings.
The directors of EnglishPoint Marina, Alnoor & Amyn Kanji, appointed XCO2 Energy as environmental and sustainability consultants for EnglishPoint Marina.
The consultants made their recommendations and subsequently EnglishPoint Marina has incorporated the following environmental and low carbon initiatives in the development:
Environmental modelling was carried out at the design stage in order to determine the optimum shading strategy for the development so as to reduce solar heat gains.
Solar glass is used in all the windows and sliding doors. These, in turn, will reduce the demand for mechanical cooling in the development.
All internal and external lighting will be low-energy fluorescents, compact fluorescents and LED’s.
Apartments have been designed to maximize cross ventilation of the natural sea breezes and reduce the need for mechanical cooling. Special high level windows have been introduced above doors.
The eyebrows and overhangs above the balconies reduce solar gain.
West facing elevations have specially designed sliding screens that provide protection from direct sunlight yet allow the cooling sea breezes to come through.
There is double glazing on some west facing elevations to reduce solar gain.
Special smooth white rendering of outside of buildings – smooth plaster to reduce surface area to sun and white paint to reflect the sun: Less heat absorbed from direct sunlight. Therefore less need for mechanical cooling, resulting in reduced carbon emissions.
Studies on wind have shown that while a wind turbine is not economically viable, we will still incorporate the technology so as to further reduce our carbon footprint and make a statement.
All hot water in the development is solar powered. The rainwater from rooftops will be harvested to supplement the water supplied by the city. Condensation from Air Condition units will also be harvested to supplement the water supplied by the city.
All Grey and Black water will be treated using four bio digesters and re-cycled for toilet flushing and irrigation of gardens. This initiative alone means we will require up to 40% less water than we would otherwise need for a development this size. (see pictures attached)
Water efficiency measures such as dual flush toilets and aerated taps are standard in all wet areas.
We are installing 4,500 square metres of composite decking instead of using natural timber. The only natural timber used is for the apartment doors.
Over 40 different types of plants are being nurtured to maturity in English Point Marina’s nursery: palms, indigenous shrubs, ferns, grasses, reeds, ground cover – and most of these plants have sub-groups. There are more than 20 varieties of palms alone! The final effect will be that of lush tropical gardens.
Instead of growing lawns, the establishment is taking the eco-friendly ‘Xero-scaping’ route. Having no lawns means reduction in the need for fuel-hungry, carbon-emitting lawn mowers. Instead we have shrubbery which promotes indigenous wildlife to thrive. English Point will employ a special drip-feed irrigation system which will reduce water consumption.
The Lush Links and Courtyard Gardens with fountains, ponds and greenery are not only pleasing to the eye, but will enhance cooling. Swimming pool maintenance is done using Ozonator technology instead of chlorine. Likewise for all the water features.