Pacis Centre is a proposed 5-storey office block in Westlands, Nairobi. It is intended for use by Pacis Insurance Ltd, with additional office space available for letting. The total lettable office space is 3600 m2. However, it is envisioned that Pacis Insurance Ltd will eventually occupy the entire building.
Westlands has faced significant changes in recent years. It is now home to several office buildings and commercial developments along Waiyaki Way. In keeping with this trend, the proposed Pacis Centre is called upon to cater for an ever developing area of Nairobi, especially in the business sector.
The proposed Pacis Centre provides spaces that cater for an active and dynamic clientele, with a clear set of services that will serve a broader metropolitan economy.
The building’s location is prime given that it offers proximity to the Central Business District and to the Westlands business and recreation area without the traffic problems associated with these areas.
Two parking levels will be provided, a half basement and a raised ground floor.
The basement is accessed from the ground level through a ramp and consists of a car park with a capacity of 55 cars. Users of the building can access the other floors from here through a staircase and lifts. Water storage tanks, generator room and stores are located here as well.
The ground floor is accessed from the ground level by a ramp, and comprises 54 parking spaces.
Tenants and their clients have been provided with additional facilities on 1st floor. These include banking, conference facilities and social spaces. It is expected that these will attract many of the businesses in the neighbourhood requiring such facilities.
There are reception/security points on each floor of the circulation core in order to make surveillance and tenant allocation easier.
There is a main staircase in the central core together with two lifts. Most wet areas are located within this circulation core as well as the electrical and mechanical ducts, and such service spaces as kitchenettes and cleaners’ stores. A fire-escape staircase has been provided at the rear end of the building, conforming to building safety regulations.
A unique floor has been provided for the main tenant – Pacis Insurance. This floor has both open plan and closed office suites with a capacity of 70 staff members (including executive staff). It also has a social space in form of a balcony and terraces, which help to make the office environment pleasant to work in.
The office spaces are mostly column-free, allowing each tenant ease in partitioning their office spaces as their needs dictate. Each office space has maximum natural lighting and cross ventilation. Care has been taken to ensure the office spaces do not get too deep such as to create dark spaces.
The Penthouse Level comprises one large executive office suite on one wing. The other wing has provision for a gymnasium and indoor court that can be used for badminton, squash and/ or aerobics.
Roof and Terrace
There are two Steel Barrel roofs on a steel structure, lending character to the building. The flat roofs are to be used for solar panels, communication aerials /dishes, and water tanks besides providing a lot of necessary utility space.
The external finishes specified are to be as much as possible maintenance free. The lower floors have natural stone while the upper floors are clad in a low-maintenance finish – Crown Variations. A balance has been sought to avoid too much glazing. Being a tropical country, excessive glass on the facades could result in added Air conditioning costs.
The building is to be ultra-modern and internet ready. It will have data ports for internet connectivity at various points on each floor, as well as a Wi-Fi system. Multi-media communication enabling such activities as teleconferencing and traffic monitoring are provided for.
Access control will employ current technological trends such as card swiping and biometric controls. CCTV surveillance of each floor shall be provided, and channeled to security points located on each floor of the circulation core.
Low energy solutions are to be pursued, especially with lighting. A generator room has been provided for in the basement, with vehicular access. Electric fencing around the plot has been considered.
The building is designed to be green in its utilization of natural light and natural air circulation. As such, the need for Air conditioning has been generally avoided.
Large underground water tanks have been provided for, as well as tanks on the roof level.
The structural grid has been spaced so as to provide simplicity and as many open spaces as possible. Office spaces have been designed to be generally column-free. The design employs use of hollow-port slabs to allow for larger column to column spans and beam-free spaces.
Client: Pacis insurance Co. Ltd
Client Advisors: Knight Frank (K) Ltd
Project Managers: Crystal Project Management Ltd.
Architects: Archten Architects
Quantity Surveyors: Costek Alma
Structural Engineer: Gathaiya Njagi & Partners
Electrical Engineers: Aberdare Engineering Ltd.
Mechanical Engineers: Asahi Consulting Ltd.
Main Contractor: Sentrim Contracts Ltd.
Plumbing, Drainage and Fire-Fighting Installations: Urvashi Enterprises Ltd.
Lift Installations: Schindler Ltd.
Electrical Installations: Ultimate Engineering Co. Ltd
Structured Cabling Installations: Elpal Systems and Technologies
Standby Generator Installations: Hyperteck Electrical Services
About Archten Architects
Archten Architects is a Kenyan architectural firm, founded in 2005. It is currently based in Westlands, Nairobi, but operates on projects throughout the country.
The firm comprises two partners who have brought to the firm a lot of experience from their previous practice, together with other employed architects and technicians.
Key people include Fernando Aizpun, who initially practiced in Spain where he was involved in more than 20 projects, many of them related to Interior Design.
In Kenya, he has more than two decades experience working mostly in educational and residential projects.
He holds a Bachelor of Architecture, is registered by Boraqs and is a member of AAK. He is also a Strathmore Trustee and a member of the Strathmore University Council.
Mr Mukasa Namulanda, the other key figure behind Archten holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Nairobi. He has previously worked for leading architectural houses in Kenya – Symbion and Tectura.
He has experience in projects ranging from residential schemes to commercial and institutional developments.
Mr Namulanda is also a Boraqs Registered Member as well as a member of AAK.