SECTIONS
Premium

Railways: The home of Prime Cabinet Secretary's new office

Railways Headquarters building. [File, Standard]

Designed and built in the 1920s, lies the Kenya Railways Headquarters building, where the country’s third in command, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi will run Sate affairs from.

It is a national monument, with its spacious compound and architectural design signaling high esteem to it.

Contrary to assertions that it was degrading of him to work in a noisy environment characterized by the matatu sector craze, Mudavadi told the vetting committee that he was comfortable with the building owing to its proximity to ordinary people.

“The busy public transport terminus will be a constant reminder of why we are in the office. Seeing the people at the bus terminus will be a constant reminder that we have work to do on the promises we made to them that must be delivered. A walk into Muthurwa and talking to residents should cap reflection on what we have to do,” said Mudavadi.

He was categorical that the location was ideal and will offer him an opportunity to interact with the people on a daily basis, as it places him closer to the real issues affecting Kenyans.

Being the seat of power during the colonial era the Colonial Governor Sir Edward Grigg resided.

It is in this same building that the late Queen Elizabeth visited when she arrived at Tree Top Hotel before she flew back to Britain to become the Queen after the demise of her father, King George VI in 1952.

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, a British architect, the building resembles the neo-classical buildings in Europe. It has the same iconic features of the High Court and State House, both having been designed by Sir Baker.

And once again, the building’s power memories were re-ignited through President William Ruto’s Executive Order No. 1 2022 which has designated it to house the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

Now a national monument, the complex that still stands tall in the middle of Nairobi City, consists of four blocks built around a central quadrangle.

Baker used different exotic designs to make it stand out such as Njiru Blue Stone, Mangalore tiled roof, timber trusses, and stone archways among others.

The building, which holds a lot of symbolism as a national monument faces the busy Railway terminus.

The design ensures comfort and an auspicious working environment.

The building has four blocks namely A, B, C, and D, separated from each other by courtyards ideal for enhancing the building’s lighting.

The building is a marvel with a larger plant courtyard that provides a cool environment due to a combination of evapotranspiration, reflection, shading, and storage of cool air. A reflective exterior finish helps reflect much of the sun’s radiation reducing heat build-up within.

To help shield the building's front face from the afternoon sun, the architect designed it to face the Eastern side while its rear facade faces the west.​

The building is tailor-made for the large human and vehicular traffic that the Office of the Prime Cabinet secretary is expected to attract. Scores of government functionaries are expected to constantly be trooping in to consult and get direction.