Ras Kitau House
Manda Island, Kenya

Year: 2013
Client: Private, Italy
Area: 850 m2
Team: Marcos Velasco, Blanca Sánchez-Balgoma, Verónica García
Status: Design Stage

Where is the right balance between tradition and contemporary?
How to find it? 

Finding the balance throughout the contrast was our main target, materializing the concept in the architecture of the house. Combining a traditional ground floor with a contemporary first floor. This contrast is emphasized by the use of coral stone in the ground floor and hardwood in the first floor. Both materials are traditional, handcrafted by highly skilled local artisans.

The ground floor, with thick walls carved with niches, high ceilings and Lamu plaster finish, will resemble some of the most fantastic examples of the Swahili architecture. For the first floor we dive into one of the most iconic symbols of the Swahili culture, the DHOWS, in search of inspiration for shapes and feelings that reinterpreted can be used to generate sophisticated spaces and forms.

This upper world made out of wooden ribs and long planks, invades the traditional ground floor like a cripple plant that escalates into a tree, to finally become a beautiful joint entity, which depends one on each other.

Ground Floor

First Floor