Sacred Heart Cathedral of Kericho

  • ©
  • ©
  • © Aernout Zevenbergen
  • © Aernout Zevenbergen
  • © Aernout Zevenbergen
  • © Aernout Zevenbergen
  • © Aernout Zevenbergen
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • © Edmund Sumner
  • ©

Special Award

National Panel Special Award

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Special Award

Region

Kenya

Local Authority Area

Not in UK/ROI

Information about this scheme

Completed in November 2015, Kericho Cathedral is located in Kenya, approximately 250 km south-west of Nairobi. It lies within the Highlands, west of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying magnificent views across tea plantations and surrounding hills. The Diocese was established in 1995, and with a growing congregation is led by the Most Reverend Bishop Emmanuel Okombo. The Cathedral’s design creates a unique and sacred place for a congregation of 1,500 seated celebrants participating in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Mass under one giant unifying roof. The striking inclined roof and its ascending interior volume – over 1,375 square metres in size - is the key organising concept behind the design. The aspiration was to create a structure that integrated seamlessly, in both aesthetic and functional terms, with its landscape setting. The Cathedral’s great inclined roof is now a distinctive form in the rolling panorama of Kericho’s hills and valleys. The ascending vaulted volume contained under a vast roof fuses African and ecclesiastically historic references. Care has been taken to shape the Cathedral’s space and express the building’s structure - the stone plinth, simply articulated concrete arch frames and timber ribbed vaulting are exposed in a strikingly crafted and honest manner.  The building’s simple palette of natural materials honours the faith and frugality of this rural African community. The practice has been committed to the involvement of skilled artisan trades and the improvement of local skills throughout the construction period. With the exception of the glass sheets used by the stained-glass artist, all the materials, including the Cypress timber, which was used for the ceiling, doors and furniture, as well as the clay tiles used for the roof, were locally resourced and fabricated. The granite used for the sanctuary was sourced from the town of Kisii, located south of Kericho, and the stone used was Nairobi Blue stone.  Buildability and the use of available resources were key drivers for Kericho Cathedral which is designed to be operated with modest energy and few maintenance requirements. Its major impact in sustainability terms is therefore the materials with which it has been constructed, and the way they have been procured and managed through the construction process. Another key driver was to minimise energy use, and consequently, reduce the future maintenance costs and obligations.

Credits

Client

Architect

John McAslan + Partners

Landscape Architect

John McAslan + Partners

Structural Engineer

Arup

Architect

Triad

Consultant Engineers

EAMS

Consultant Engineers

ENG Plan

Primary Use Class

Class D1h - Public Worship