M a r k e t N e w s

Inside Kenya’s most photographed house

Posted on : Friday, 7th October 2016

 Walk into Alan Donovan’s medieval mud palace and you are at once seduced by the widest assortment of indigenous African art and fabrics that give the flooring, walls and rooms a pleasant glow.

 
Most of the more than 6,000 pieces in the house can hardly be found anywhere in the world today, apart from a few private collections or public museums.
 
Alan’s architectural masterpiece standing just off Mombasa Road, on the edge of Nairobi National Park, was inspired by palaces once built by Emirs of Northern Nigeria and sacred muds of Mali.
 
The ‘palace’ is actually the African Heritage House, designed and built by the American designer and co-founder Alan, with former Kenyan vice-president, the late Joseph Murumbi .
 
“I intentionally planned to replicate pre-colonial African architecture, much of which no longer exists today. I also infused a lot of Swahili influences in the house,” he says.
 
“The doors, window frames, wall designs and even the mangrove poles in the ceilings were all modelled after Swahili homes,” adds Alan, who worked closely during construction with architect David Bristow, former creative manager Joanna Bristow and an American artist, Carol Beckwith.
 
It took him several years to build it and walking through the four-story house it is easy to see why it is ‘‘The Most Photographed House in sub-Saharan Africa.” The interior is as mind-boggling as the exterior, which is actually made, not with mud, but with solid rock dug out of the hole where the swimming pool is situated. Every room is a feast for the eyes.
 
Every corner, wall, nook and cranny is covered with pristine pre-colonial African art and material culture collected over more than 30 years.

Source : www.businessdailyafrica.com
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