When you drive into the compound of the Lefebvre family home in Karen, you feel like you’ve entered another world. Most houses in the area are from the colonial era and even those that aren’t don’t look or feel particularly modern.
In contrast this house feels glorious, so much so that it immediately lifted my spirits – something I really needed after hours in traffic on Ngong Road. With this project, architect Mark Lecchini has certainly achieved his intention of creating spaces that “… offer delight to those who interact with them …”
Mark met entrepreneur Anthony Lefebvre a few years ago, at a time when he wanted to build a home in Kenya but was leaning towards a more traditional design. Instead, Mark offered up a scheme based on the tenets of modern architecture, which look at fundamentals like light and topography to make the most of the landscape.
The shape of the house and the large windows illustrate Mark’s ability to play with and synchronise space and light. Strategically placed, the windows make the most of the daylight while also protecting against harsh sunlight. And elements like the solar panels on the roof demonstrate the architect’s desire to harvest the elements wherever possible in a manner that realises what he sees as a moral obligation to the environment.
Photographs courtesy of Mark Lecchini Studio.