The proposed development is situated in a highly visible site located along Airport North Road which is a major corridor connecting Mombasa road
to the rest of Embakasi area. The Southfield mall is at the center of the industrial and residential hub and benefits from a wide catchment area
including the extent of the high density Embakasi estate, Mombasa Road from the Nairobi CBD and the traffic from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
In response to the location of the site in Nairobi city, it was necessary to provide a potential usage both in terms of urban entity and returns.
The 4-storey shopping mall is designed to react and satisfy a demand for high quality of retail space in this area. The entire complex is defined
by an integration of various retail spaces, restaurants, banks, daycare centre and conference facilities. The third floor exclusively hosts a
25,000 sqft conferencing and exhibition space which will cater for various functions for the neighboring residential and industrial Embakasi area.
The shopping mall is located on a 3 acre parcel of land which is deep in nature with its shorter side facing the highway. It comprises of an
overall built up area of 360,000 sqft and a lettable area of 165,000 sqft and 400 car parks distributed on the basement, ground and second floor.
The multi-functional building comprises a basement floor which houses 280 car parks, back of house services and lettable storage areas for shops
above. This will be one of the first malls to incorporate storage spaces for individual shops in the basement. The basement has a central oval
water feature which opens to all the retail floors above and forms the base of the atrium which gets natural light from the central atrium glass
roof located on the second floor. The water feature also acts as a launch pad for a travellator which connects the shoppers from the basement
floor to the ground floor at an angle over the water feature. In addition to the travellator the basement also has the main lift lobby and public
staircase which connects all the way to the 3rd floor.
The ground floor consists of retail space located around the circular atrium space with natural light beaming in from the glass skylight above.
The main entrance to the ground floor is from a drop off facing the main highway. The main entrance comprises a double height lobby space with the
seating area for the coffee shop on the ground floor and the other two eateries overlooking into the same at the first floor. The entrance
celebrates an elevated volume enhancing optimum light into the retail spaces. The central atrium is crowned with a glass roof articulating
light to various levels and to the water feature at the basement. The shape of the building and the materiality of their facades are juxtaposed
to the surrounding low rise buildings to form an anchored and vibrant environment.
In essence the key concept behind the design is to achieve and develop the most potential and viable use of the proposed development and at the
same time standout from its neighborhood.
Unique Design Aspects
The entire design compromises a minimalistic language so as give prominence to the shops and their respective displays while at the same time
ensuring sufficient aesthetic rhythm in the overall public movement areas. The shop fronts have been uniquely designed to form art frameworks
for the shop displays. The central atrium is ovular in shape with the basement, ground and first floor facing into a vast water feature with
the travelator and escalators crossing on top of it. The four main eateries have been carefully located to face the main double height entrance
while at the same time having the view of the landing airplanes at the airport located nearby.
Finally, Southfield Mall offers a wide range of shop sizes ranging from 200 sqft to 6000 sqft to provide sufficient options in terms of size
Due to the nature of the plot, the shorter front side faces the east which brings in the morning/early afternoon sunshine into the building.
This particular facade has the main shops/food outlets set inside with an open space covered with a roof on the double height with seating area
in this space. This buffers the existing shop fronts from the sun.
The second long facade which is exposed to the sun most times of the day has mainly blank walls which have double thickness in order to reduce
heat gain. Service corridors have also been set on this long facade to further buffer the shop areas from the afternoon sun. There are a large
number of shaded openings and terraces which allow a natural flow of light and cross ventilation through the mall with a big water feature at
the center of the atrium which provides cooling effects to the entire common movement area.
Finally the entire mall has LED light fittings so as to reduce the overall energy bills.
The mall has 2 number 18 passenger lifts, a set of travelators to and from the basement to the ground floor, a set of escalators to and from
the ground to the first floor for the customers. There is also a provision for a common goods hoist for all the shops. The anchor tenant shall
also have an internal travelator and goods hoist. The complex has a provision of three generators giving a total back up of 1200 kVA to the
The building also has a 1600 kVA AVR system in order to correct power fluctuations at the point of entry. There is also a UPS back up for
important facilities like lighting, CCTV and parking ticketing system. The entire building is controlled by a building management system
which shall assist in monitoring any breakdowns, shutdowns or a disaster. Finally the entire mall has a backbone of mechanical ventilation
which brings in natural ventilation to individual shops.
Location and access to the development
The site approximately measures 3 acres in size with a frontage of 75m. The main building is setback by approximately 20m from the plot
boundary. This gives a buffer from the noisy highway and at the same time provides a drop off area and front car parks for the visitors.
The location and surroundings of the proposed site have played a big role in deciding the land use of this particular project. The proposed
site is strategically located on the busy North Airport Road which connects the Mombasa road from either side to the new eastern by pass and
the rest of the busy Embakasi estate.