It took architecture and design studio Two by Four exactly 15 days to transform this shipping container into a self-contained living pod. The ‘Moja Pod’ was then transported on the back of a flatbed truck from the plot in Kileleshwa where it was assembled, lifted by crane over the wall of Alliance Française and carefully placed in the garden.
This highly efficient process was the result of two years of planning by studio founders Kwekwe Kivutha and Jeremy Moses. Although, Kwekwe tells me, the idea had been “marinating” for much longer.
Launched in 2012, Two by Four have worked on a range of projects from a budget-boutique hotel to the interior and exterior renovations of an office space and a pool house. The studio has also developed a line of minimalist, modular office furniture.
Two by Four had initially planned to present their office furniture at Afrika Handmade 2016 but decided to make the most of the opportunity and showcase their first living pod, which has potential for commercial, retail or residential applications. The pod can also be customised for urban or rural environments with options to connect to the utilities grid, or use solar and a bio box (for water and waste recycling and treatment).
For the Afrika Handmade exhibition Two by Four displayed a 20-foot container, which has a bathroom with a shower, cooking space and seating area, but a larger 40-foot version is also an option. It has the same elements as the 20-footer but includes a separate bedroom with a wardrobe and a slighter larger seating area.
Kwekwe says that it was very important for them to create a neutral space that can be customised by the user. To make the Moja Pod “come alive” for the Afrika Handmade exhibition, the studio commissioned several pieces of artwork from Kenyan artists, which were displayed throughout the pod.
On Sunday 2 October, 2016 Craft Afrika opened the third installation of the Afrika Handmade Gallery to exhibit work from regional artisans and designers. The two-week event at Alliance Française, Nairobi, presented designs from home décor and textile companies; a prefabricated living pod from Two by Four; and a selection of artwork from the One Off Contemporary Art Gallery. Maridadi.co partnered with photographer Brian Siambi (better known on social media as @urbanskript) to feature a selection of designs from the exhibition.