How Teamwork and Good Ethos Creates a Winning Team
The case of AAKI Consultants Architects & Urban Designers
The Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) is a non-profit making professional management organization engaged in the promotion of excellence and integrity in the practice of management. The 50 year old Institute is widely respected in the country and beyond for its quality programmes and benchmarks for excellence.
To encourage good management in organizations, KIM has come up with annual awards of excellence for both organizations and their managers. Among these is Company of the Year Awards (COYA) which recognizes organizations that have met and surpassed various criteria in pursuit of management excellence. Last year, KIM also introduced SMOYA, which aims at rewarding rising small and medium scale enterprises.
So when AAKI Consultants Architects & Urban Designers, an architectural consultancy based in Nairobi, won in the inaugural SMOYA awards, it did not come as a surprise to many. Since its inception in 1991, AAKI has established itself as one of the most respected consultants in the construction industry in East Africa and has over the years bagged many other awards for pioneering a sustainable approach to architecture through a wide range of work – from urban master plans, educational, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces to private houses and hospitality projects.
The practice is led by seasoned architects Gitau Mungai and Kariuki Muraya with Arch Gitau Mungai serving as the Principal Partner.
AAKI offers services in architectural design, project management, urban design, feasibility studies and financial analysis both for public and private organizations.
Over the years, the firm has endeavored to design buildings that ascribe to value creation, both aesthetically and functionality. The studio’s vision for a new building is that it should always add new and positive qualities to the site and the brief. This happens through careful ana¬lysis of the site, the surrounding buildings and the brief. The consultancy has an approach where it always sees the project’s complexity and challenges as a positive creative force to create something unique for the site and purpose. This has resulted in an impressive portfolio of projects.
From the beginning AAKI consultants has pioneered a sustainable approach to design, through work that spans the entire building spectrum from master plans to intricate details like furnishings. The firm’s approach is sensitive to location and culture, often combining the latest advances in building technology with techniques drawn from vernacular tradition to post-modern ideologies. It harnesses the skills, enthusiasm and knowledge of integrated design teams, clients and communities to create inspirational environments.
AAKI has a competent team of Architects, Landscape Architects and Technicians who together create architecture for people through a simple approach tailored to suit the firm’s clients.
Ideas can flow more freely when architects and landscape architects work together creatively from the beginning of a project. By doing so, they can combine their knowledge and learn from one another, to devise sustainable fully integrated design solutions.
The firm’s commitment to research and development has allowed it to bring its combined expertise to bear on an unprecedented range of projects around the East African region. Although design works tend to be focused in Kenya, the Nairobi office is just one of a network of offices that spans virtually every time zone. The practice reflects this mix of cultural connections; the team is young and cosmopolitan and this diversity helps to create a good mix of ideas.
By working together creatively from the start of a project, architects and landscape architects combine their knowledge to devise integrated, sustainable design solutions. From appointment to completion, the teams are supported by numerous in-house disciplines, including project management and a construction review panel. And to ensure consistency and personal service, the same core team sees a project through from beginning to end. The design process is reviewed regularly by the design team and by creating numerous opportunities and in-house competitions the firm is able to provide a service that is unparalleled.
AAKI has changed the landscape of the region through creative projects in virtually all genre.
The firm has put together an impressive portfolio of projects in commercial, residential, institutional, healthcare and finance.
A few of these include:
– Mayfair Centre, Nairobi
– ESAMI Kampala (in collaboration with Uganda’s J.B. Nsubuga)
– CIC Plaza Phase 2, Nairobi
– Jadala Investment Building, Nairobi
– Nginyo Towers
– Kenya Police Sacco Headquarters, Nairobi
– Tea Board of Kenya Phase 2, Nairobi
– Thika Greens, Thika, Kenya
– Prudential Housing Scheme, Nairobi
– Britak (now Britam) Luxury Apartments, Nairobi
– Daykio Apartments, Nairobi
– Vipingo Ridge Villas, Mombasa
– Sigona Housing, Kiambu, Kenya
– Faculty of Health Science, Egerton University, Kenya
– Proposed Kenya National Library Service Library and Head Office, Nairobi
– Coast Region Laboratories for Kenya Bureau of Standards
– Enashipai Resort and Spa, Naivasha, Kenya
– Summerdale Inn, Nairobi
– Naivasha 3-star Hotel, Kenya
– City Cabanas, Nairobi
Other projects include Doctor’s Plaza and Fourway Towers in Nairobi.
AAKI Consultants Architects & Urban Designers is determined to continue providing superior solutions for the built environment in the years ahead. The team’s passion for architecture and design will continue to be a strong driving force as the firm strives to exceed stakeholder expectations in whatever task it embarks on.