A house in Kenya inspired by a 12th century French monastery

Michaelis Boyd Associates designed Arijiju House combining African and European architecture: rooms, terraces and green roofs develop around a central courtyard and overlook the savannah. 

Arijiju House is a private residence located in the Borana Conservancy, on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. The territory, characterized by grasslands, is a protected area rich in wildlife including black rhino, still today endangered because of poachers. Designed by Michaelis Boyd Associates, the house combines African and European architecture, moving away from the typical structural typologies of the area and taking inspiration from contemplative places such as Le Thoronet Abbey, a 12th century Cistercian monastery in Provence.

The building is positioned on a slight south-facing slope offering a view of Mount Kenya and a deep connection with the surrounding nature. A link with the landscape that can also be found in the choice of local materials: meru stone extracted from a local quarry is used for the walls, local grevilia timber for beams and pergolas.

The house is developed around a central courtyard framed by a colonnaded passageway leading to bedrooms and living areas. Terraces and green roofs overlook the savannah, and guest houses, staff quarters, a spa and a tennis court complete the property. 

Arijiju House
Borana Ranch, Laikipia, Kenya
Private property (with guest houses, spa buildings, manager’s house, staff quarters)
Michaelis Boyd Associates
Owner of land:
Michael Dyer
Internal Gross Area:
2,180 sqm
Total Gross Area (incl . outdoor spaces):
3,859 sqm

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