I walked into this office space and felt a connection to my true self, a sense of freedom and pride to be of African origin. A restoration of dignity and honour to be African.
Welcome to SNDBX, pronounced as (Sandbox) but spelled without the vowels! And true to its name the interiors of the space have the earthy colours neutral light brown palates of the sand. According to its founder, Joram Mwinamo, SNDBX is a co-working space and a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs to access professional services from more that 20 experts. All under one roof.
As entrepreneurs walk into the premises situated at CMS Africa at Chania Avenue, in Nairobi Kenya, seeking services that would help grow their businesses, ‘they go through a ‘triage’ to help diagnose their specific needs and are then directed to a professional who help solve their particular need for their business. Services required could be in finance, HR, Tax, legal, branding, marketing, PR or in getting a sales strategy.
But a walk through this African Village of an office is a sight to behold. At the reception area is a mural of Mansa Musa, one of the wealthiest African Kings from Mali. Painted by Chris Kibera, the mural is a stark reminder of the core business of entrepreneurs which is to grow wealth. The launch area at the reception has a 3-piece sofa made using a two-tone effect of modern suede-like fabric that has a contrasting stunning African mud-cloth upholstery on the back of the sofa creating a nostalgic effect.
A section of office has coaching booths, where consultants meet their clients. This area has an earthy comfortable feel, pretty much like an urban restaurant setting. The seats welcome the guests with African geometrical patterned seats. . An adjacent wall art sits pretty decorated with Bolga Fans from Ghana. Designed by Interior Designer Clara Mwanje of Interior Perspective Studio this happens to be one of her favourite spots. Egyptian hieroglyphs are inscribed at the ceiling beams as one enters the consulting booths, cleverly renaming the booths to ‘chambers of wisdom’.
Bold painting by Martin Kioko bring to life depictions of authentic and pure African village life, free of western influence. Adorning the SNDBX corridor walls with the of raw African beauty, the artwork which is a great conversation starter depicts a variety of African culture, which always receives extreme reaction from observers who are either awed or shunned by what they see.
The painting of a Himba Boy on one of the construction pillars as you walk to the kitchen makes a statement of what it is to take pride in being an Africa, says Nyagu.
An open plan custom made minimalist workstations look orderly. The designer achieved an airy feel in the open work area without it feeling congested. An orange screen divider with a tribal print adds a pop of vibrant colour to the space. The flooring which was originally tiled is topped up with vinyl floorboards for easy wiping to give it a wooden feel and soften the space.
True to African communal eating, the black themed SNDBX kitchen is a gathering spot of oral story narrations for staff. They get to chat and share a meal as they de-stress and recharge over some Kenyan coffee in classy emerald black and green crockery and you can never know which bright concepts may be created during an informal gathering. Right below the kitchen ceiling board is a pleasant surprise element of framed mud cloth discreetly placed above the higher kitchen cabinets.
Mothers Room At the heart of African community is an honour and for mothers, in support of optimal breast feeding for working mothers, the SNDBX fulfils the African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child and has incorporated a mother’s room that offers nursing mothers a discreet moment of privacy to express milk for their little ones. The room has a feminine and relaxing feel to it with a recliner chair that keeps the working mum comfortable. A refrigerator in the room ensures that baby’s milk is kept under safe temperatures.
The effectively designed SNDBX branding permeates throughout the premises and is explicitly expressed from the front office’s white signage on bold black background to the training rooms. ‘Brand architecture in this article refers to the house structure of the brand in a figurative sense,’ says Benson Nyagu who was instrumental in bringing to life the SNDBX branding. “The African Village formula which is purely African in context as SNDBXs brand position is the visual look and feel which one gets immersed in. ”We aimed at an authentic African taste of colour in black, burnt clay and burnt ochre expressed in African shapes and textures. Hence the African fabric and the triangle visual element base which is authentically African, says Nyagu.
See the village experience in the video below:
This article was written by Wangechi of BrandSpark PR who are the PR Experts at the SNDBX who position your brand to build trust & boost sales for your product and/or service. We spotlight Africa's brands and entrepreneurs so that they are seen, known, and heard.
If you have any feedback or inquiries write to Wangechi via this link >> Email Wangechi