In Kenya, home burglaries are one of the most common crimes giving rise to the many private security firms that guard homesteads at a premium price.
A drive around the high-end neighbourhoods such as Kitisuru which hosts one of the country’s most expensive houses, one can spot patrol vehicles hired by residents associations in the wealthy neighbourhood, to respond to alarms and emergencies.
One famous residence, known as House 12 on Magnolia Hills, in Kitisuru also incorporates a unique security feature in the form of swimming pools.House 12 located at Magnolia Hills in Kitisuru, Nairobi worth Ksh 650 millionFile
According to its architect, Merhaz Ehsani the pools provide more than just luxury. They act as a buffer zone to protect the house's external glass walls that would make it vulnerable to break-ins.Nairobi architect Mehraz Ehsani speaking during an interview. Behind him is water cascading down a glass wall.File
The security measures adopted are such that in the past 5 years there have been no incidences of danger or insecurity.
“There was a lot of insecurity in Kenya some 20 or 30 years ago. Thieves would come into the houses at will. I decided that if the country is so beautiful, you don’t want to look at that beauty through steel bars.
“We created the swimming pools that are motes and they exist in front of the living room and we can have all the glass free without burglar-proof bars. If you want to come and take a TV you have to go through two and a half meters of water. If the owner wants to be particularly dangerous, they can put a crocodile in there,” Ehsani explained.
At the same time, the pools act as a stage for the magnificent Kenyan rains, providing a veritable theatre, making the splashing of the raindrops against the pools visible from inside the house.
One of the glass walls also drains water along its length giving the impression of watching a cascading waterfall from inside a cave.
Ehsani is a member of the billionaire family that developed the Village Market in Gigiri which is also an affluent neighbourhood attracting diplomats and other expatriates.
Other features of the 5 bedroom house include a huge library whose doors can be moved to connect it with the living room.
It has four acres of communal landscaped gardens, which provide beauty, privacy and uninterrupted views of distant trees and luxuriant gardens.
Watch a tour of the house below.
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