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Designed by Chris Payne and Emma Campbell, Lolldaiga House is a fully sustainable eco home. The walls are built from straw bales collected from farms on the high foothills of Mount Kenya, the structural timber was purchased from the forest reserve, and the decorative timbers that finish the panelled rooms, window shutters and floors were all collected from local farms in Laikipia. The design ethos was that this must be a luxurious but unassuming ranch-style house that blends into the landscape. In one of the most beautiful properties in north Kenya, with its views through cedar forest and across to the open plains of Il Polei, it was important that what we built connected into the landscape and was hidden from the world beyond.

After excavating 3,000 tonnes of soil and terracing the small pocket of land we had, what occupies the site now with its mineral finished corrugated iron roof, lime washed walls and covered terraces, is an extension of the old architecture of the Lolldaigas. The thick straw walls support ambient temperatures throughout the day and night. The roofs all collect the infrequent precious rainwater, which is stored for the house to use throughout the year, and the solar power system hidden neatly on the terrace roofs provides the last part of the elegant simple self-sustaining life that the client wanted.

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