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Xinhua to get new home in Kenya

Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China. It is the biggest and most influential media organization in the country and operates more than 170 foreign bureaus worldwide.

Xinhua has been operating in Kenya for many years. To consolidate its operations, the Agency sought to build a complex that would serve as office space and at the same time offer accommodation and recreational facilities for its employees. And therefore in January this year, a team headed by leading Kenyan architectural studio – Tectura International – embarked on the task of realizing this vision.

Once complete in September 2018, the complex, located on George Padmore Road in Nairobi, will have the following facilities:

  • Dining room with kitchen, outdoor dining area and rooftop restaurant
  • Roof terrace
  • Conference/Exhibition room
  • Executive Lounge
  • Library
  • Two open-plan office spaces
  • 30 offices
  • 24 studio units
  • 36 bedroom units.

The complex will also have facilities for indoor games as well as a badminton court, swimming pool and gymnasium.

A total of 60 parking spaces have been provided, with 53 located in the basement and the rest on the surface. There will be four elevators, a standby generator and a borehole.

Design Aspects

According to Architect Kihara Mungai of Tectura International, with the end user being a news agency for distributing important news to the Chinese Communist Party and Central Government, the planning concept, character development and form abstraction borrowed from the elementary geometry of wave motion.

The architect had to find a perfect balance between “official, homely and recreational” use of the whole development while still maintaining a seamless set-up with inconspicuous interfaces.

“At the back of our minds, this being a Chinese government project, it has been very important that design resolutions are reached in conformity with not only local but also Chinese design codes”, says Arch Mungai. 

Green Considerations

The Xinhua complex will feature grey water recycling, solar reducing plants, rainwater harvesting and LED lighting as part of the architects’ green intervention. There will be natural temperature control with the main spaces facing North-South for maximum light while minimizing latent heat from the sun. All East-West facing facades have sunshades.

Ventilation will also be natural. With the wind direction being from West to East, the building will allow wind to pass through it creating an area of low pressure that will aid in natural ventilation of the rooms.

Solar water heating is also envisaged in the complex.

Project Team

Client- Xinhua News Agency

Architects – Tectura International Ltd.

Quantity surveyors – Anka Consultants

Civil & structural engineers – Professional Consultants

Services engineers – Empaq Limited

Environmental expert – Kiburu & Associates

Main contractor – (C.R.J.E) East Africa

Mechanical subcontractors – Plumbing Systems

Electrical subcontractors – Central Electricals International

Lift subcontractors – Shanghai Engineering Company (K) Limited

Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya


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