Paragon Architects appointed for Tatu City’s commercial core design
First phase of Tatu Central precinct details masterplan for office and retail developments
10 November 2021: Paragon Architects has been appointed to provide detailed designs for the first phase of the business district of Tatu City, the 5 000-acre new city in Nairobi, Kenya, developed by Rendeavour, Africa’s largest new city builder.
The start of the commercial precinct, called Tatu Central, follows the rapid growth of the city’s residential, education and light industrial and logistics districts. Currently at Tatu City, more than 60 companies are operational or under development, thousands of homes are occupied or under construction and two schools, Crawford International and Nova Pioneer, educate more than 3 000 students daily.
Tatu Central is designed as a walkable, green, medium-density, mixed-use city district for an integrated healthy urban lifestyle in the mild climate of Kenya. The first phase of Tatu Central is a 35-acre land parcel with 200 000 m2 of mixed-use rights for development. Tatu City, which is Kenya’s first operational Special Economic Zone (SEZ), has secured commitments from commercial and retail developers in the first phase. Companies operating in Tatu City can enjoy low corporate taxes, zero-rated VAT and exemption from import duties.
“Working closely with the Tatu City team in Kenya, we aim to match the strong vision of the original masterplan with the finer grain of demand in the local property market,” comments Paragon Architects Director Henning Rasmuss.
The Tatu City masterplan was designed by the London offices of SOM, a leading global master planning and architecture firm, between 2013 and 2017. SOM remains involved with Tatu City as advisor and master planner, guiding the city’s vision.
Rasmuss adds that the outcome of the work will be to match the rights offering on each land portion to the “development appetite” of developers and end-users or tenants. Each block in Tatu Central will be designed to be attractive and competitive in their overall value offering to local and international developers.
“The core of Phase 1 of Tatu Central is based on retail, business outsourcing, hotel and corporate head office opportunities that together will form the catalyst cornerstone of the new urban district, which is designed to become Nairobi’s second CBD,” explains Rasmuss. Paragon Architects, in conjunction with local partners Design Source Limited, will also develop an architectural guideline that defines a consistent aesthetic for Tatu Central.
Tatu City was recently recognised by fDi Intelligence’s Free Zones Awards 2021, winning in the category of Large Tenants in Africa and receiving an honourable mention for its workforce training for the local community.
Paragon Architects, part of the Paragon Group, is a dynamic and agile, continentally-active architecture and interior design business with experience in 24 African countries. It is currently engaged as the architect for an office building for Gateway Real Estate Africa in Appolonia City, Rendeavour’s new city development in Ghana. The Grade A commercial complex will offer both corporate office and retail space, and be anchored by Appolonia City to house its headquarters and sales office. A total of $4 million will be invested in the first phase of the project.
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Paragon, established in October 1997, is an internationally-active design business, based in Johannesburg. We deliver commercial architecture, masterplanning, interior design, and space planning to visionary clients in all property sectors, from retail to residential and education. We are committed to global urban development. We are able and agile. Paragon is flexible and diverse in its approach to design. Each project is unique and not driven by style, but by lifestyle and a response to user needs. Elegant and efficient planning form the core of our designs. We understand the needs of our clients, and know how to generate ever new architectural forms in a competitive property market.
We are known for hands-on engagement with all opportunities present in the modern global building industry. The true measure of our skill is our ability to engage at all levels and with all players that make up the colourful world of construction and property development. Our buildings look forward. We embrace the future, because we will be a part of it – part of its problems and responsibilities, and part of its great freedoms and achievements.
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