• House 12 Magnolia Hills / Mehraz Ehsani

Architects: Mehraz Ehsani  
Location: Nairobi  Kenya
Interior Décor: Bo Concepts
Project Year: 2014
Photographer: Africashot
Website: www.zana.international

Project Size: 1115 sq. m.

In the quiet suburbs of Kitisuru, away from the bustling streets of Nairobi, a magnificent mansion has captured the essence of contemporary modern living with picturesque views all round. Like a dream house, it is a result of genius and keen attention to detail. With playful exploration of pools, fountains and jacuzzis, light and space, green and hard landscape… the house is a breath of fresh air to residential living in Kenya.

Zana International contracted one of Kenya’s most renowned architects Mehraz Ehsani, and the result is nothing short of amazing. It is located adjacent to the International School of Kenya at Magnolia Hills, where the lavish house was not shy to stand out from its environs. The community is gated with 40 houses on 25 acres of a tasteful, fairly flat landscape, a nod to the American styled suburbs with the added advantage of stable infrastructure and high speed fibre optic internet. Communal areas within the estate include 3 swimming pools, a fully equipped gym, a restaurant with a bird sanctuary and a covered gathering area for guests. Not that the house itself was devoid of such features.

The project sits harmoniously within mature trees, bamboos and tropical plants, and an electrified wall that stands guard against intruders. Security features were maximized on, with security lights and surveillance cameras supplementing the efforts of the guards who patrol the estate. Even the approach to the property is governed by a double gate system with remote control for residents. House 12 is the largest house within the community, occupying a one acre raised garden. This further improves the privacy of inhabitants in the house away from their neighboring residents.

This amazing piece of architecture comes with a triple volume lounge at the heart of the layout. There are two kitchens, the large one for staff cooking at main events, and the other for the lady of the house to prepare their own menu for the family. It has a gym with state of the art equipment, six all en-suite bedrooms, extensive balconies, an interior and exterior Jacuzzi, and is offered with two staff quarters, and a garage for three cars. To enhance security, full anti bandit windows were installed in the lower floor while the pool acts as a mote relieving the need for burglar bars. The entrance itself has a pool and waterfall with an enormous swivel mahogany door that exerts opulence to the awe inspiring front facade.

This layout also incorporates an art gallery adjacent to the dining room marked with uneven orthogonal wall niches with accent lighting. Exploring all the lighter shades of granite and bamboo floors, the interior spaces jump into life when added a dash of color. The lounge was conceived from a two concentric steps dropping into the large living space and a freestanding fireplace positioned intelligently to the side. The kitchens are mesmerizing with black granite flooring aligned with glass and stainless steel fixtures and fittings that include white goods (e.g. cappuccino machine, grill, fridge, dish washer, microwave and oven) inbuilt into the cabinets.

All rooms have gypsum ceilings and intricate mouldings to indulge in. Access to the higher levels is provided by the granite and mahogany stairs amid the lounge and dining. Behind the lounge, a den and office overlooks the pool and natural vegetation from the comfort of massage chairs, a fireplace and TV atop. For privacy, the home office/prayer room was located on the third level, along with the balcony, overlooking the lush suburbs of Kitusuru. The large detached guest wing comes with its own private entry, kitchen and bathroom.

The house was specially designed to provide the flourishes of a comfortable family home as well as double for an ambassadorial house with large dinner parties. The stunning interior spaces were furnished by Bo Concept whose extravagant furniture can easily take your breath away. Surprisingly, the building can easily accommodate 200 – 250 guests with the BBQ area setting a gathering space for them beside a unique environment for fine living.

The design of the house captures various aspects of the Kenyan country-side in a modern approach.     It was designed as an island with water surrounding on all sides. Residents still enjoy brilliant sun-filled days within the interior spaces and the beauty of nature, while at night, retire to the darker spaces intended for sleep. As the developer’s notes, “In every way the design endeavours to respect its relation to nature and makes specific use of the unique weather conditions in Nairobi, allowing grand spaces which neither need cooling, nor heating. The result is the presence of abundant space and height, with brilliant light and an intimate relation to nature.”

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WHAT OTHERS THINK SO FAR

Michael

Michael Mathenge

Village Market and Tribe Hotel come to mind

Zilpha

Zilpha Musembi

I love the work by Mehraz Ehsani - Magnolia have they done any other works here in Kenya?

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