Sunday, March 25, 2012

For these are the top 10 masterpieces in the architectural future of Nairobi

10. Panari Sky Center, off Mombasa Road. Grand architecture with squat, imposing glass-work when viewing the facade from a close angle. Linear, cube shaped, tall structure when viewing the cone of the building from the South Eastern bend of the highway. Silver, neutral hue of the all-pane building highlighting the colonnades of same color and , seemingly material, with flying angels that give it a 'sky' identity.

09. KICC on Harambee Avenue. Barely missed the list but for the round curves, inter-planetary curves that give it a futuristic epithet not seen in many other buildings. Furthermore it has some stunning open attic at the top for revelers at the top of a skyscraper under the sun.Wonder how it could have looked like if the Founding Father had kept his word to make it 60 stories.

08. Times Tower, off Haile Selassie Avenue. The intricate hexagonal, block nature of the tallest building in the city makes it inaccessible. It is insignificant in its grayish silver from afar, but becomes overwhelming from a proximate vantage point due to its solid, grounded foundation. Novel in the sense that it contains some alluring paintings (Gothic?) embossed on its ground floor entrance.

07. Yalah Tower, Biashara Street. Contains some flying buttresses that make it quite airy , almost a gem in the midst of other laid-down buildings in its surrounding. It brings that slice of the Abu Dhabi to Nairobi, making you feel for the first time to be in an oriental locale, by the sea. For as you know, the building , I was told in an interview, was made to resemble a ship, a dhow by its owner. Made by the Chinese by the way.

06.  Nation Center, Kimathi Street. The bottle-like aspect of this masterpiece at the center of the mass media in Kenya is always intriguing, with the horizontal silver-and-white lines effervescing with friendliness. It is a tall office building that appears like a plaything for a child showing just how the globe keeps turning daily bringing news events to the world without caring a whit about commentary.

05. The Rahimtullah, Upper Hill. Seems like all gray, silverly things win the appeal of the neutral bibliographer. This tall building with a spike pointing to the heavens in Upperhill in its  bright  silver color and an imposing barricade of mammoth blocks, as if to tilt it from its off-the-cliff position in Upperhill gives an illusion of direction to the Nairobian. It appears to be in Westlands sometimes, others at the city center, while yet other times, where it should be. Do not trust to its triangular linear projection just like you should not treat its protruding scaly bars kindly too. Pass it in awe only for its beauty.

04. Teleposta, off Kenyatta Avenue. If an award were to go to any piece of architecture with these merits, then they would go to the tower of the GPO: Elegant, cone-like., two towers side by side, inviting yellow-gold color, slim and modernistic. It is the only building in the city that can be seen from almost every direction despite being in the extreme end rather than the heart and despite being in the shadow of its tall, squat neighbor, Nyayo House. If any of the tower is unseen, then its robotic, perpendicular mast is.

03. Victoria Towers, Upper Hill. Elusive, phantasmagoria of blue illusions. All glass and almost a statement that the theory of relativity was after all right in that inverted and normally standing shapes can co-exist. The building is not so tall but it has immaculate curves that seem to be wrapping around each other in bottle and wing fashion.

02. Delta Center, Westlands. In its finishing touches, Delta Center is by far the closest replication of how the Twin Towers in New York could have looked like in this city. In fact the 18 story twin towers are about to be possessed by the leading banker in the globe. It is a double-barreled masterpiece in the offing.

01. The Citadel, Westlands. Built in a hidden corner of the city, the Citadel deserves acclaim as the  most futuristic of all Nairobi buildings for it overcomes the theories of Roman-Greco architecture of adhering to form. It simply lacks form especially in its upper portion. Though solid and even linear, its color interplay overshadows any notion of solidity. Perhaps the car park underneath also gives the concept of a floating structure. It deserves the name citadel for its lack of grasp, being almost church-like, which makes it invincible. It is like a piece of graphic rendered solid in the air.