Category: Architecture & Design

Architectural projects around the world that reflect my values in design and that I seek inspiration from

swahili beach resort, diani. mombasa

“..A fantasy tropical paradise where there’s nothing but good; magical sunsets, flowers, lots of fragrant fresh fruit, and (imaginary) live performances from Cesaria Evora, Lianne la Havas and Jessie Ware”.

Take me back already, please?

 

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Well, it’s been a while since I shared  on this space. I get overly critical of what material to put up on my blog, so I tend to slack on my blog posts. If you, however, would like to keep up with my adventures on a daily, feel free to follow me on my Instagram. It’s my happy space 🙂

Between running around for months to complete my final year project (which I’m happy to say I finished and did well alhamdulilah), and a cleansing month of fast and prayer (Ramadhan) I didn’t have much time for fun or recreation. A few weeks in Mombasa at my grandmother’s were more than welcome; I had longed for the sea, it always gives me a sense of renewal.

I can’t find the words to describe how I felt when I got to The Swahili Beach Resort, but I’ll try. Excited. Hopeful. And very much in my own dream world – a fantasy tropical paradise where there’s nothing but good; magical sunsets, flowers, lots of fragrant fresh fruit, and (imaginary) live performances from Cesaria Evora, Lianne la Havas and Jessie Ware.

Prior to the brief evening at the resort, I’d spent the majority of my morning and afternoon with friends and family at Amani Tiwi Resort. Catching up, eating, laughing and taking long, peaceful strolls by the beach. See, the thing about hanging out with loved ones is they get you. Even with your annoying paparazzi habits, they will still tolerate you and even think of more things to do that fit in your description of ‘fun’.
So they suggest, how about we leave early and explore Diani. They (obviously) didn’t get any objections from me.

We first stopped by Congo Beach (will share that adventure in another post) and then stopped by Swahili Beach Resort in time for afternoon tea.
As a (recent graduate) architect, I had been aware of the design of the resort for years; Its characteristic cascading pools and whitewashed buildings, heavily influenced by Swahili architecture, and the designers’ application of symmetry as a theme in design.

What you don’t see is the feeling the spaces invoke on the user, the effect beauty has on a person. The way the spaces flow into each other, the way views are strategically framed to the ocean and public spaces. The smoothness of the floors and walls. The rippling sound of water in the vast (yet unimposing), domed central space. The beautiful furniture and its placement. The urge to want to stay in this space, forever. Ah. I almost had to be dragged out. If there’s anyone thinking of spoiling themselves and taking a trip to Mombasa, this place is a must see ❤

I hope you like the pictures, I took them all on my camera phone and edited them on the VSCO app. Catch up soon?

Fatma.

Thesis

Well. It’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog. Hah!
I’m not sure anyone’s even reading right now. *Taps mic to check if it’s working*
If I were speaking in a room right now, my three friends would probably be the only ones at the front cheering me on. Hi friends!
Hopefully two or three people will waltz in as I continue speaking. Yes, I have a very animated mind 😀

I’ve been on a writing slump for a while now. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything meaningful on here. I’m still collecting coins and some notes in my thermos cup (don’t ask), saving up for a good camera. Still have a long way of saving to go before I can afford it! I didn’t want to share much anymore because I felt it wasn’t good enough. I’d planned for my next post to be AMAZING, with great photos taken on my new flashy shiny camera, aah I can’t wait to open the box and get that whiff of newness, you know?
Then I thought, it is my blog after all. I may not be the best writer, or photographer out there. But I had a vision when I started the blog. Things have changed since, but this is something I want to do. And I will make it work.
I’ve decided to have a new category for ‘Academics’ on my blog.

I’m not sure if people know this about me but I’m studying Architecture at The University of Nairobi. I’m currently in my final year and this year I will be examined in two categories: thesis writing and the final project. For my five readers (two people walked in as I was writing), my thesis will be a study of homeless people, specifically within the Nairobi context.
I have memories from a very young age of chokoras (slang for street children). They are all sad memories of depraved children my age sniffing glue and begging for food, even a shilling. The harshest memory I have is of one street teenager being burnt for stealing. They put a tire around him, spilt kerosene on him and set him on fire. *shivers*
My apologies for this morbid piece of information. But I will not shy away from these issues, it is after all an academic thesis and the goal is to educate people and create awareness.

My thesis will tackle several aspects of homelessness but concentrate on the street families; who are they? What problems do they face? And what can I do, as an architect, to help better their living conditions?
My intention is to post something new at least every week. They may be photos, or just facts I gather along the way as I write.

Oh, one more thing! My lovely friend Dida (who went on a rant about how I’m not consistent on my blog) agreed to help me fix up my site next week. We’ll create a logo and get a theme that is more ‘me’, give this blog the much needed facelift it needs. Thanks boo 🙂

I hope you will enjoy this journey with me, cheers! 🙂
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