Ruiru Masterplan
Kiambu, Kenya

Year: 2016
Client: Cytonn Investments Management Ltd.
Area: 402.700m²
Team: Urko Sánchez Architects + Guillermo García de Polavieja
(USArch Team: Ana Núñez, Eloy Ferranz, Blanca Sánchez-Balgoma)
Environmental Consultant: TMA
Status: Competition. 2nd Runner Up

An approach.

A coffee plantation, a crack in the landscape.

Reading the site:

The Ruiru plot resembles the deck of a gigantic aircraft carrier. Nothing further from reality. The site embraces the deep scar caused by a former water stream. Two facing hillsides with slopes up to 20% occupy most of the premises. The at land escapes around us, but we are trapped in a 1,5 Km long rift, full of promise. Such a great challenge for a urban planner.

Understanding this topology has been paramount in our approach. The slopes being the essence of the site and their mastering the key to our proposal.
Di erent housing typologies have been selected in order to match the di erent slopes, harmonizing them by controlling their volumes and ensuring the proper levels of accessibility and privacy. 


Sunlight, Topography and General Arrangement

The latitude of Kiambu county o ers good sunning throughout the entire year, bathing even the deeper parts of the site with enough sun light for the best living conditions.

We wanted the only high-rise beacon in the landscape being the hotel tower, so we took advantage of the topography in order to place the larger buildings in the lower areas. These steeper slopes, those closer to the river bed, are thus occupied by the apartments, being the highest density residential typologies in the complex. With the largest part of the population living by the former river stream , the provision of a recreational space was needed. The River Park will do the job nicely. Shorter views from the apartments are compensated with direct walkable access to this unique facility.

Higher in the hillsides, other housing typologies appear, with both higher building areas and levels of privacy, all arranged to best adapting to the steeped terrain.

A few larger plots are reserved on the lakeside to the
highest end of the future customers, for villas with direct access to the lake for their private recreation. 

A Sustainable Development

With the largest part of greenhouse gases and other polluting emissions as well as environmental noise coming from motorized transport in residential areas, being able to design an urban structure that minimizes the need for using the private car for daily trips is paramount when sustainable goals are set.

Our road network invites bike riders to share the space with cars for trips within the complex premises, and the facilities designed such as the Commercial Centre, River Park or the recreational area around the Lake Pier, all accessible for pedestrians, aim to reduce the use of motorized means of transport.

The Commercial Centre will provide a delivery service for all businesses, so local customers will be able to freely bike or walk to and from it, with their goods conveniently delivered through optimized routes.

Houses will be built with sustainable materials and are pre-designed to incorporate solar technologies for hot water and the recycling and reusing of water.

A centralized waste disposal system is designed for reusing and recycling, with sheds allocated at each plot and a central Waste Management and Recycling Station. Organic waste will be turned into compost for seasonal gardening, paper and biomass from gardening will be turned into briquettes for heating purposes and glass and plastic will be separated and sent away for reusing. Other environmentally friendly features will be agreed with the client in further steps of the design process. 

River Park


Residential Typologies

Urban guidelines