Chester House: Nairobi's Iconic Hotel Where Police Stormed Azimio Presser

  • Chester House, an iconic building in Nairobi Central Business District, went viral on Saturday, March 18, after a section of student leaders affiliated with Azimio was apprehended before addressing the media.

    The building was set up around 1970 and was used by top dignitaries and political leaders.

    According to the Museum of Kenyan Architecture, Richard Hughes designed Chester House using Brutalism Architecture- a style which emerged during the 1950s in the UK. 

    The style was embraced in the construction of projects of the post world war era.

    File photo of Chester House located in Nairobi Central Business District

    File photo of Chester House located in Nairobi Central Business District.

    Museum Kenyan Architecture

    Chester House was characterised by minimalist construction showcasing bare building materials and structural elements over decorative design.

    It has 84 hotel rooms-12 one-bedroom, and 68 two-bedroom apartments. The building hosted International Press Association.

    The constructors made Chester House with elaborate balconies overlooking the city and large enough to host a barbeque party with friends. The VIP rooms were fitted with additional rooms to fit the needs of families and groups.

    The penthouse, the only room on the 17th floor, was set up to offer an amazing city view.

    During President Daniel Arap Moi’s regime, Chester House in Nairobi symbolised Kenyan’s struggle for freedom and democracy. 

    Leaders in the early 1990s held press conferences calling for a constitutional change to make Kenya a multiparty state.

    According to reports, The United Nations, International Committee for the Red Cross, the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army, Uganda’s rebel soldiers, the then Assistant Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shariff Nassir and other personalities visited the house to issue statements.

    The building, however,  came under new management and changed its name to Jambo Chester Hotel, Nairobi. And with the changes, it was changed into a hotel.

    The Monarch Group owned Jambo Chester Hotel and invested Ksh238 million to makeover the property.

    File photo of Chester House located in Nairobi Central Business District

    File photo of Chester House located in Nairobi Central Business District.


    Museum Kenyan Architecture


Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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