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Photos: Why I built a ‘palace’ on top of rental apartments – Annie Lumbasi

Annie Lumbasi, the creative genius behind the eye-catching house perched atop rental apartments in Zimmerman, Nairobi, has described her creation as nothing short of a palace.

Her unique architectural achievement has captured the imagination of many.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, Annie Lumbasi, a Kenyan-US-based nurse, expressed her surprise at the overwhelming attention her remarkable house has received.

She moved into her distinctive home in July.

The house, a striking feature in Zimmerman, has become the talk of the town due to its ingenious design and efficient use of space.

Annie Lumbasi’s ‘palace’ in Zimmerman. PHOTO| COURTESY

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One of the key aspects Annie discussed during the interview was the duration of the project.

She revealed: “It has taken four years to complete the house. People may see only the house, but behind it lies years of hard work. I grew up in Zimmerman, and that is what inspired me to purchase a plot here. I wanted to stay close to my childhood roots.”

Annie went on to explain the motivation behind her pioneering idea, saying: “The reason I came up with the idea is that, at that time, I only had one piece of land, and I was torn between building a mansion and rental apartments. I wanted both simultaneously. So, I consulted with the contractor, who explained to me what was needed.”

Addressing the financial aspect, she emphasized that she had spent millions of money.

“I had the financial means to build my house but I wouldn’t want to dwell so much on that right now. As long as you have a competent contractor or engineer who knows what they are doing, there should be no issues. Problems arise when you desire something but lack the necessary resources.”

Annie Lumbasi and son, Jonathan at their ‘palace’ in Zimmerman. PHOTO| COURTESY

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Annie Lumbasi highlighted the convenience of managing her apartment complex, saying:

“I can easily manage my apartments without the need to constantly check rent collection and other matters. This way, I also maximized the use of my land.”

She offered a valuable message to those pondering what to do with their single pieces of land, asserting that it is entirely achievable to create something exceptional right where they are without the need to relocate to upscale areas.

“I looked around, and everyone was building their houses on the ground floor and then adding apartments above. However, I wanted to create my version of Muthaiga so that when I step inside, it feels like I’m in the US rather than just living on a plot. I wanted that sensation that I don’t feel like I’m in Zimmerman when I leave my home.”

Regarding her newfound fame, Annie Lumbasi said she values her privacy and acknowledged the dual nature of public attention.

She expressed that her friends and family are thrilled for her and are enjoying the moment, knowing they have a place to gather and celebrate.

“My friends and family are happy for me and they are flowing with the moment since they will have a place to enjoy and party. I come in Kenya and go since my kids are in the US until when I will fully come back.”

Annie Lumbasi’s ‘palace’ in Zimmerman. PHOTO| COURTESY

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In terms of privacy, Annie says she has ensured that her residence maintains its tranquility despite the external buzz.

The separate entrance for tenants ensures their privacy and enhances the serenity of her unique abode.

“I am very private person and I feel like it has been robbed. Despite the noise and so on, people might not notice me when they meet me in person.”

She mentioned that all the materials used to build her house were purchased locally.