The client is an ambitious lady who would not take ‘NO’ for an answer. She has a strong belief in possibilities and would at all times push the limits without necessarily losing sight of the key issues that matter, aesthetics, function and costs. That is the story of Alys Centre.
In this particular project, her main objective was to stamp her mark within the skyline of Westlands by building on her family’s legacy through transforming Alys Centre that was built by her late father. The location of Alys Centre, at the junction of Muthithi Road and Mpaka Road in Westlands, is an important site as it is at the junction of one of the main arteries into Westlands and the entertainment street also referred to as the ‘Electric Avenue’.
In addition, she wanted to create additional space to provide a solution to the growing number of SMEs looking for flexible state of the art office and conference space that does not require them to sign into long-term leases or having to incur massive capital expenditure to remodel and fit out available spaces into decent operational bases.
The building was initially a four storey little mess. The facade was plastered with all manner of branding and advertisements for the different tenants. It had a tenant staircase on one side and a steel ‘fire escape’ afterthought on the other. The roof was of sheets of steel nailed to a structure that was already rotting. My role was to transform the building in line with the dreams and aspirations of the client.
And that is exactly what I did. Created a new Aly’s Centre building and Ahansa Business Centre on its 5th floor. Improved the building services, added a lift and made provisions for power backup. I improved the external areas and created some parking spaces complete with external street lighting.