Located on the island of Lamu in Kenya, and designed by Urko Sanchez Architects. “Residence red pepper” takes the form of a sinuous structure closely related to its surrounding forest environment. The trees are set as a direct consequence of the spatial arrangement of the house, with the footprint of the building and the roof shape occupying the voids in the landscape of vegetation. This avoids the elimination of existing mangroves and results in a dynamic mix of sunny and shady outdoor spaces.
The architects incorporated traditional monolithic architecture by using Makuti roofs from Swahili, which are often elevated above the housing structures. The opening produced by the large window and the layout of the space creates a strong relationship with the surrounding landscape and climate, as well as a passive cooling system. A thatched roof rises above the canopy of mangrove trees to announce the presence of the complex, covering a continuous series of outdoor spaces. The entire property is open to the outside, except for some closed volume housing the bedrooms.
Manual labor was used during construction, rather than heavy machinery. In addition, the project is built with local materials such as wood and stone coral. The house has two systems of solar energy collection. Solar radiation is absorbed to provide water heating, and partly collected by solar panels to power electrical appliances. A water tower is used, allowing the water flow to be generated by the force of gravity, rather than by a pump.