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Kidero grass beats Mutua’s park in architectural awards

Nairobi’s beautification programme has received an award for being the best landscaping project, despite being a laughing stock days after its inception.

Governor Evans Kidero had launched the programme to spruce up the city ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to the country in July last year. City Hall awarded contractors tenders worth Sh48.9 million for the beautification.

The programme, infamously tagged as Kidero grass, was pitted against Governor Alfred Mutua’s Machakos People’s Park during the 2016 Architectural Association of Kenya Awards.

An aerial view of the Machakos People's Park. PHOTO | FILE
An aerial view of the Machakos People’s Park. PHOTO | FILE

The judging panel evaluated projects based on sustainability, cost effectiveness, socio-economic impact to communities and creativity among other metrics.

Entries were submitted by firms with membership in the association.

The ‘Kidero grass’ programme was the subject of public ridicule after the grass failed to grow in time for President Obama’s scheduled visit.

President Uhuru Kenyatta also joined in the humour when comforted the Nairobi governor at a public event, quipping that the grass was intended for Pope Francis’ visit that was four months away.

Other winners at the awards included:

  • Best commercial building; The WaterMark Karen – Beglin Woods Architects
  • Best hospitality project; Enashipai Resort & Spa – Dimensions Architect & Interior Designers
  • Best cultural building; Don Bosco Upperhill Nairobi by Space & System
  • Best education institution project; Braeburn Garden Estate by Planning System Services
  • Building transformation/renovation project; National Museum by Triad Architects