Modern Movement Houses in the Colonial Capital City of Nairobi


  • Yasmin Shariff




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Architecturally, Nairobi was never a backwater. Modern architecture in Nairobi developed in the context of the tropical climate design vocabulary of Otto Königsberger (1908-1999), Maxwel Fry (1899-1987) and Jane Drew (1911-1996), within a racially segregated plan. Ideas and ideals of Modernism came with refugees, migrants and magazines from many cultures and places including South Africa, Europe, the Indian sub-continent and the Americas. Projects by internationally renowned architects and planners such as Herbert Baker (1862-1946), Ernst May (1886-1970) and Amyas Connell (1901-1980) set high standards of design. The Garden City Movement, International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM), the Modern Architectural Research Group (MARS), and the work of many others was influential.

How to Cite

Shariff, Y. (2021). Modern Movement Houses in the Colonial Capital City of Nairobi. Docomomo Journal, (64), 80–83.





Documentation Issues


Author Biography

Yasmin Shariff

Director Dennis Sharp Architects, Yasmin Shariff is an architect whose family were some of the first settlers in Nairobi. As a young girl she grew up in Nairobi, Kampala and Emsworth. She was educated at Kenya High School before moving to London to train as an architect at the Architectural Association and the Bartlett School of Architecture. Her mother still lives in Nairobi and she visits Kenya on a regular basis.


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