Featured Building – Kenyatta International Conference Centre


Designed by architect K. H. Nostvik in 1973 for the Ministry of Roads and Public Works, it is a tall building that proudly watches over all of Nairobi. It is a breathtaking landmark. The free standing tower with twenty eight floors housing offices, amphitheatre, a revolving restaurant, 4000 seater plenary hall, conference halls and basement parking spaces is located at the centre of the city of Nairobi.

The building is approached using scissor ramps and stairs. It has large outdoor garden areas with lights and fountains. At the central core are lifts and service ducts. A staircase from the elevated ground floor level terminates at the roof with a helipad receiving small helicopters.

The amphitheatre captures the traditional African pitched houses. This is a landmark that epitomizes self governance and independence. The then president Jomo Kenyatta wanted the built form to capture the core of black civilization.

This article has been largely adopted from a paper titled ‘The Role of Social Systems in Production Process of Modern Architecture in Kenya’ by Dr. Robert Rukwaro of the University of Nairobi. Click here to download the full paper in pdf.

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8 thoughts on “Featured Building – Kenyatta International Conference Centre

  1. I don’t think there are many such architectural gems around the world. As a layman I would call it a masterpiece.

  2. Two thumbs up to the great design by Nostvik . Indeed an icon . Brave play with forms and great composition. The exposed aggregate invokes a sense of timelessness yet the building remains contemporary not archaic .
    The brutalist exterior expression is set against large volume interior public spaces lined in timber.
    At the far corner iz a well placed landscape building- the garden square. Tiny by comparison yet a powerful gesture once again.

  3. When i was in high school, i marveled at the Architecture of the amphitheater, as i rattled as a Tenor 1 in the male set piece Poly Perkins…Only years later as an Architect, i clearly understand and appreciate the genius and wit of the designer…Truly inspired.Truly inspiring.The Nairobi’s signature.

  4. It is awesome,creating spaces in such a complex form was wow!The revolving restaurant is post modern if it may be said.A masterpiece.

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