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Dalton House (2015) by Alberto Morell

Dalton House (2015) by Alberto Morell located in Kilifi, Kenya | The Hardt

 

Dalton House (2015) by Alberto Morell located in Kilifi, Kenya. Sited on over three acres of land, the house sits in between the sea entrance in the coral cliff, and the back part of the mangrove. The house opens to the Indian Ocean on the upper floor and coincides with the mangrove on the ground floor. This position between the entrance of the sea and the back of the mangrove ensures natural ventilation in this Kenyan coast, which is known for it’s humid and warm weather. The project thought process begins with following the original topography from the lower level, where the entrance of the house matches the mangrove, all the way to the platform situated on the high level, matching the cliff. In this high part of the topography, you have the horizon view of the Indian Ocean, framed by the cliff entrance. The highlight of this house has to be the 32 ft (9.90 meters) wide staircase, which serves as the primary access point for the home.

 

 


 

The sea entrance in the cliff determined the width of the stairs and the width of the courtyard. This courtyard has a small sweet water pool and connects the ground floor with the upper floor. There is no other communication between both floors but these stairs. The common areas are established on the ground floor; the living and dining room, the kitchen and the guest rooms. On the top floor, we can find three small apartments with a little kitchen and bathroom in each of them.

 

 


 

The house is built from the cheapest local materials. Thus, the structure –columns and slabs- are built in concrete. Following suit, the space in between the structure is filled with small coral stones acquired at the nearest local quarry. The finish of floors, walls, stairs, shells, etc. is all made of a stucco called Lamu finish, which is made by the native people. The material is very clean and soft, it also has a resistant finish. All carpentry, doors, and windows are made of 2 inches thick, mahogany. They are carved following a geometric pattern of the mosaics from the Alhambra Palace of Granada, Spain. This pattern has had an important influence in some Muslim buildings of this Swahili area in Kenya.

Photography by Javier Callejas

 


 

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