PLANNING designed Diamond Trust Bank’s proposed corporate headquarters with preservation of the site’s natural intimate ambience as paramount. The design had to respond to the challenges of its dramatic topography, existing tree cover, shape and location bound by the Limuru Road and the Thigiri River.
The client’s brief highlighted the importance of retaining and/or transplanting existing indigenous trees within the site, a challenge which was resolved by laying out the buildings to avoid cutting down any significant trees; resulting in a gracefully curving built form that “flowed” with the Thigiri River frontage and the ground’s natural contours.
The project consists of three major features: A parking and utilities silo, an arboretum-like stroll-way, and the office building. The office building was designed to house departmental functions, a three hundred person auditorium, corporate banking, board and meeting rooms as well as an internationally rated Data Centre.
All the buildings were designed to maximize use of outdoor open spaces on roofs, terraces, and courtyards. The buildings and systems would function as sustainable as possible, incorporating passive natural ventilation as well as a grey water recycling system that was engineered to reduce mains demand by forty percent. Interior temperature increase via direct solar irradiation would be regulated by the aid of extensive horizontal shading thereby reducing cooling costs.