A colorful shopping center designed by the late Will Alsop is coming to Nairobi, Kenya, the only of the pioneering architect’s projects to be built in Africa.
Alsop designed the plans for the mall prior to his unexpected passing earlier this year, and aLL Design, the firm he had led, recently won permission to move forth with the project as the first since he passed away, Dezeen reports to Dezeen. The Beacon will serve as a posthumous continuation of Alsop’s tradition of vibrant, ambitious structures.
The 2.6-million-square-foot open air mall will not be short on playful design flourishes, including, for example, a monorail with “jellybean” carriages and a piano-inspired staircase. The plan is for the structure to house shops and restaurants and be topped with a roof garden and bar.
Meanwhile, the exterior, more reminiscent of an amusement park than a shopping center, will be clad in fabric canopies on top and lined with monochrome porcelain panels on the side. And amusement there will be—a spiral slide and merry go-round will cater to mall-goers of all ages.
In addition to the mall, a seven story office tower is being constructed adjacent to the grounds. Both projects backed by the Nairobi-based Kiloran Development Group, which also funded the largest mall built in the Mount Kenya region back in 2015. Development on The Beacon is expected to be completed in 2020.
Alsop, who died after a short illness on May 12 at the age of 70, was known for designing buildings that featured an avant-garde modernism, emphasizing that architecture should be fun. His portfolio includes the Peckham Library in southeast London and the Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto.