A Glance of Chinese Buildings in Nairobi

Note: these photos were shot by a Chinese high school student at the beginning of 2017, in Nairobi, Kenya.


The Two River Plaza is the biggest mall in East Africa and it is a joint project by a Chinese state-owned enterprise called Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)and a local company called Athena, which is the East Africa’s leading real estate development company with a special focus on large scale mixed use developments in Kenya. This mall’s construction began in Feb. 2014, and there are more than 100 shops in this mall, including the Carrefour this kind of big stores (supermarket).This mall is not only a place for shopping, but also will become a large commercial complex in Nairobi, such hotel, bank HQ, water park and office building.


Swiss International Lenana is a hotel built by Chinese company and run by Swiss International from Switzerland. There are 131 rooms in this hotel and the design style is more professional, it looks more pithy and likes the modern international hotel. Johnson, the visitor manager of this hotel, showed us the rooms and told us that each floor had 16 rooms with 4 different type of rooms. In the senior landscape room (RVK), the good sight attracts people to live in. They also used the French casement (windows) as the window design, the strong windows screen will provide a safety spot for people to look outside.


Sapphire Court is an apartment made by Chinese company Sapphire (Lan bao shi)  from China. This building was started in 2015 and it was building really fast which has 9 floors (plus 1 floor for parking) and each floor has 14 units. The sales staff told us that most of them are Kenyan living in this neighborhood and about 10 units are Chinese. This company offered a new design of inside of the rooms – enclosed kitchen, they want to use this way to limit the space of kitchen so that there will be more safe and clear, but the liver has the options to accept this or take it out. There are two kind of room for people to choose: the one is two bedroom with two restroom, one kitchen, one balcony, total size is 112 square meter. Another one is three bedrooms with two restroom, one kitchen, one balcony, total size is 139 square meter. Also the supporting facilities are complete, such as swimming pool and a place for enjoying the cool environment.


Chang Rong (Mathare) Light Centre and Chang Chun Light Centre – Those are two middle school in the Mathare slum which is the second slum in Kenya. Those two school were donated by a Chinese organization called Dream Building Service Association (DBSA) . This is a Non-Profit Organization and set up in 2014 by some oversea student and volunteer who loves to teaching poor kids in the slum and help them to get enough education. Those school support 176 kids can have their rooms to obtain knowledge. By the way, Chang Chun Light Centre is designed by three young designers – Xun Weishun, Lai Zunheng and Wang Xiaoyu, they volunteered to design this school and all of them was graduated from Harvard University and Columbia University. The bamboo is the main material they used because bamboo is more environmental and ventilated, the flexible material can keep well in that hot environment and bamboo can be liked the symbol of China.

By Runlin Zhang

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