- John McAslan + Partners
A church at the heart of Kericho town has earned recognition from top architectures and engineers.
The Sacred Heart Cathedral is an iconic chapel that rose to international fame owing to its unique design and finishing.
Funded by the diocese of the Catholic church in Kericho, the chapel was built by John McAslan and Partners, an architectural firm based in the United Kingdom.An image of the Sacred Hearts Cathedral in KerichoJohn McAslan + Partners
Speaking during an interview, John McAslan stated that his company was contracted to design a new cathedral to replace an old one. The cathedral has a capacity of 1500 people.
"The congregation we initially planned for was 1,500. We eventually reduced the building to a congregation of 1,000, but by design, the building allows 500 other people to engage in the service," he explained.
McAslan stated that what attracted him to the project was the modest budget allocated for its construction. Despite the constrains, the firm pulled off the job within three years, and the building went on to win awards owing to its features.
Notably, the diocese was keen that the chapel should use local materials including granite, Nairobi blue stone, cypress timber and clay tiles. The building would also use as much natural energy as possible.
The width of the chapel expands from the entrance towards the altar as requested by the church, which preferred that the volume of the congregation increase towards the alter.
Engineers designed a bespoke acoustic system for the building. It has an inclined roof which fuses modern and historic African and religious references.
On the ceiling are timber slats spaced evenly to allow natural lighting. The slats hide a set of speakers and direct sound from the same across the congregation.
Above the cathedral's altar is a figure of Christ on the cross made from brass by local artist: Tums. It is placed on wood from a tree that had to be chopped down to make way for the cathedral.
The building's gargoyles and gutters are part of a water management system that collects rainwater for use in irrigation. Its foundation enables it withstand earthquakes and tremors as the area is prone to seismic disturbances.
Sacred Hearts Cathedral has won awards including the Civil Trust Awards (2017), the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award (2017), National Panel Special Award and the British Construction Industry Award.
It has also bagged the Judges 'Special Award', Religious Art & Architecture Awards, and Faith and Form Awards in 2016.An image of the Sacred Hearts Cathedral in KerichoJohn McAslan + PartnersAn image of the Sacred Hearts Cathedral in KerichoJohn McAslan + Partners
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