The Swiss Knife House design is aptly named after the Swiss army knife that comes with very many usages all wrapped in a single product. As the name suggests, this house comes as a 4 and 3 bed roomed maisonette house that can easily transform itself into two 2 and 1 bed roomed apartment houses respectively.

This adaptability comes in handy due to several reasons;

1. Someone can purchase the house as a 4 bed roomed maisonette unit then once his/her space requirements reduce, for example after kids have grown up and left the house, they can easily rent or sell the upper or lower floor level as a complete independent 2 bed roomed unit with minimal changes.

2. Developers can easily roll out construction for the 3 and 4 bed roomed maisonettes and if the demand for the large units is slow, they can easily convert the maisonettes into 1 and 2 bed roomed apartments for faster sale without necessarily having to change the design. This means that the units can be constructed in a faster time hence potential buyers who have paid up the deposit will wait for a shorter time before the houses are complete and they can now move in and utilize their property.


The Swiss knife house design is designed using the ‘deconstruction’ style which is attractive and appeals to people who require unique and modern designs.

Use of new building and construction technology has been used to reduce the overall cost of construction. This in return enables the developers to sell the houses at a better advantage to the buyers compared with the surrounding competition.
Use of local construction materials creatively designed and patterned also helps reduce the overall construction cost and eventually the sale cost to the end buyer.

The RIMPA SIDES estate situated at Ongata Rongai Rimpa area a few meters from Muthaura Residence has been designed using this concept.
View the project here

The flexibility in terms of house size change as time goes by coupled with the creative cost reduction offers a very good incentive for developers and potential house owners to choose the Swiss Knife house design by A4architect.
Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684


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