All over Africa, Nairobi is known for its outstanding skyline buildings. Upon completion of the Global Trade Center(GTC) along Waiyaki way, the capital will host the tallest building in Eastern and Central Africa.
The highrise project located next to Kempinski hotel was launched in 2018 by a Chinese company, Avic International, and is expected to be completed in 2022. The multi-billion shillings tower will host a 42 storey office building, a mall, a hotel, and 514 house apartments.
Despite being a project by a Chinese company, there are Kenyans who have made a name for themselves during the construction of Nairobi's new landmark. Some of the Kenyan expertise participated in the planning, designing, and construction stages of the 184 metres tall building. They include;A collage of James Gitoho(left), Engineer Patrick Muiru (center), and Prof. Jacob Kibwage(right)File
Gitoho is one of the architects who participated in designing the GTC building.
In an interview with a local TV station on November 27, Gitoho revealed that he participated in the design process through a contest that was organised by the Chinese developer.
"The project was an international design competition and the client wanted the best out of both worlds. They needed local input and so we started participating in a competition among four architects,” he stated
The architect from Kenyan-based, Triad Architects, went ahead to reveal that the chosen architects later collaborated in designing the project’s concept.
He also added that he was tasked with ensuring that the designs conformed with the Kenyan construction regulations.
Muiru is a structural and civil engineer and founder of the PI-D-KEI consultants. He is tasked with supervising the construction of the building because of its iconic structures.
"This is a very iconic structural work because it has very serious heights of 45 storeys and in some of the site we had very poor soil and we had to do a very big site investigation,”
"My role in this project is to ensure the integrity of the designs and compliance with both international and local standards," he stated.
The engineer described the projects as one of a kind adding that the safety of the building is a high priority. Muiru further revealed that while some of the materials in the construction were acquired locally, other structural steel materials had to be imported.
"The building also has a bridge of 38 metres that crosses over the road. We had to do a serious integration of the design that was done in China to make sure that the project and elements are safe under the local conditions," He stated.The Global Trade Center (GTC) building along Waiyaki way taken on November 9, 2021.GTC
Prof. Jacob Kibwage
Kibwage is an environmental and social planning expert who revealed that the planning of the building was a meticulous process because of the proximity to the Nairobi Expressway and Waiyaki way.
"To ensure that the project itself does not have a negative impact on the surrounding. Most of the roads were redesigned and widened to ensure that traffic flow will actually improve at the end of the project," Kibwage stated.
He added that the planning process also had to put into consideration the modern environmental technology with the building designed in a way to ensure that there is sunlight throughout the floors during the day.
"The technologies which have been used in this building are basically to ensure that there is minimal usage of water in the apartments. Everything was undertaken with modern technology that is meant to ensure the conservation of energy.
"The oriental of the building of the building itself is east to west which will ensure that there is natural light from 6:30 am to 6;30 pm," he stated.A file image of the Nairobi Expressway along Waiyaki Way in Westlands, Nairobi.James Macharia
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