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The Nation Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Submission by Marie Gibert

The Nation Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

I am not always sensitive to architectural modernity but I do find that Kenya's Nation Centre delivers important messages about the country's identity in a simple yet powerful way. As the home of one of Kenya's main newspapers, The Nation, it is an important symbol of the freedom of the press and of the crucial political role the media have played in Kenya's democratisation. Some see in the two cylindrical towers the eyes of the media. The building's obvious sturdiness is also a powerful message to anyone tempted to silence journalists. It is, moreover, located right at the centre of Nairobi's Central Business District, Nairobi's often overlooked yet beating heart, far away from the "Big Five" safari or traditional African society clichés. Its architectural style, finally, while certainly classical, includes nods to African, Arab and Indian architecture, thus underlining East Africa's identity as a meeting point between these three worlds and cultures.

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