Paragon Architects has been appointed to design the first phase of the business district of Tatu City, a 5,000-acre new city in Nairobi, Kenya. The start of the commercial precinct, called Tatu Central, follows the rapid growth of the city's residential, education and light industrial and logistics districts.
Developed by Rendeavour, Tatu City currently has more than 60 companies are operational or under development, thousands of homes are occupied or under construction and two schools, Crawford International and Nova Pioneer, educate more than 3,000 students daily.
Integrated healthy urban lifestyle
Tatu Central is designed as a walkable, green, medium-density, mixed-use city district for an integrated healthy urban lifestyle in the mild climate of Kenya. The first phase of Tatu Central is a 35-acre land parcel with 200,000m2
of mixed-use rights for development. Tatu City, which is Kenya’s first operational special economic zone (SEZ), has secured commitments from commercial and retail developers in the first phase. Companies operating in Tatu City are afforded low corporate taxes, zero-rated VAT and exemption from import duties.
“Working closely with the Tatu City team in Kenya, we aim to match the strong vision of the original masterplan with the finer grain of demand in the local property market,” comments Paragon Architects director Henning Rasmuss.
The Tatu City masterplan was designed by the London offices of SOM, a global master planning and architecture firm, between 2013 and 2017. SOM remains involved with Tatu City as advisor and master planner, guiding the city’s vision.
Catalyst cornerstone of the new urban district
Rasmuss adds that the outcome of the work will be to match the rights offering on each land portion to the “development appetite” of developers and end-users or tenants. Each block in Tatu Central will be designed to be attractive and competitive in their overall value offering to local and international developers.
“The core of phase 1 of Tatu Central is based on retail, business outsourcing, hotel and corporate head office opportunities that together will form the catalyst cornerstone of the new urban district, which is designed to become Nairobi’s second CBD,” explains Rasmuss. Paragon Architects, in conjunction with local partners Design Source Limited, will also develop an architectural guideline that defines a consistent aesthetic for Tatu Central.