Week no. 7


Someone recently told me, "everything happens for a reason".

I thought about what she said, maybe things do happen for a reason or, maybe things happen randomly and we attach reasons to it.

For the past 10 months I have been working in Lamu. I am doing a project (Saba) that is the result of fortune, opportunity and bold choices. Saba - a private home and artist's residency has been a point of education, I have had to rack my brains and as a result I have learnt a lot of personal, professional and practical lessons.

The project broke ground on the 10th of october, seven weeks ago. On the fifth week I had to stop the work MIDWAY through building the foundation walls due to financial delays.

Week 6 and 7 have been a roller-coaster of emotions. The abrupt change in my routine coincided with personal problems. Lamu is a small conservative muslim island, with little to offer in terms of distractions. As a result, my mind only focussed on the problems I was facing.

It's at this point that I began to re-consider the project.

A week later, on sunday, to be specific, I met with a friend and mentor, who is a respected architect.

In the morning over coffee, I keenly showed him the proposal, and with his guidance we picked it apart bit by bit.

By the end of the discussion we both agreed that it would be better change the unbuilt portion.

Below are a series of drawings that explain the changes.

The new proposal

The old proposal

Diagram comparing the old and new program


1.The creation of a communal space around the pool, ( this is a space that can be used for small gatherings, workshops and etc...)

2. The communal space acts as a buffer zone between the private spaces and the residency rooms. Giving the areas independence whilst still maintaining a sense of community.

3. To accommodate the communal area 1 room was removed to retain the cost whilst improving the quality of the spaces.

4. The pool is enclosed in a courtyard which keeps it clean. The courtyard has two accesses that can be locked.

5. Studios were added adjacent to the pool for individual and focussed work.

Comparison of the plans

Going back to what I said earlier, it seems, at least to me, that whilst doing a long term project delays are somewhat inevitable. These moments, however they may present themselves can be perceived as opportunities to be self-reflective and re-evaluate one's goals.

#architecture #construction #africa #lamu #artistresidency

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