Symbion International has amassed a portfolio of iconic projects both locally and regionally and now banks on the booming construction industry to thrive
With 35 years of successful trading behind it, leading multi award winning architectural firm Symbion has grown to become a true leader in its field. With a dedicated team of 108 people, the firm specializes in architectural designs, urban planning, interior designs and project management.
Mutua Mutuku has been at the helm of Symbion Kenya Limited since 2009 and has played a key role in maintaining the steady growth of the architectural firm. But how have they been able to consistently deliver superb designs over the years?
“Our ability to deliver bespoke solutions to our clients has continued to give us a competitive edge over other firm offering similar services,” says Mutua .Their services he adds are tailored to meet every client’s needs and this explains the inspiration behind their designs.
The architectural company has established unrivalled project portfolio of high profile projects across East Africa and Botswana.
Amongst its growing list of projects, Symbion has designed iconic buildings including the luxurious Villa Rosa Kempiski hotel in Kenya, Kampala Serena Hotel, and the prestigious Sheheena Marina apartments in Mombasa. The firm is currently involved in designing the expansion of Nairobi Serena Hotel.
Elsewhere in Africa, Symbion has been involved in major design work. For instance, the firm is behind the iconic design of the British Council offices in Botswana and Lourdel Plaza in Uganda.
“We have especially mastered the hospitality industry with various top notch projects under our belt. Our secret lies in churning out unique products. Our ability to deploy cutting edge technology in our designs coupled with innovation has ensured that we continue to get repeat clients and stay ahead in the market,” discloses Mutua.
Over the years, Symbion has diversified from its core business of architectural designs to offer related services such as urban planning interior designs and project management. In urban planning, the company has partnered with international architectural firm RMJM, to offer outstanding urban planning services. RMJM brings together high caliber architectural firms around the world to deliver services to select clients.
“We will continue to seek partnership with global firms with proven portfolio in a bid to tap the world class talent and deliver high quality services to our clients.”
In project management, the firm has been involved in the management of the Tudor Creek apartments in Mombasa.
“We have successfully won and completed several projects whose scale and design complexity, our competitors have not been able to rival,” quips Mutua adding that they have overseen the development and management of White Sand Hotel in Mombasa, Panafric Hotel, Sheheena apartments among others.
Symbion also has been involved in the development of Lilian Towers in Kenya, ngorongoro serena lodge and Manyara Serena Lodge both in Tanzania. The firm has also a vibrant interior design team in Nairobi.
With booming construction industry in Kenya and beyond allowing Symbion to make inroads to new customer bases, Mutua is clear that the firm is as focused as ever on its core industries. He is confident that as Symbion, what they have learnt for the past 35 years will propel them into a brighter future.
“The reputation we have established from large tailor-made projects will give us an upper hand when bidding for other projects. We know what we are good at. The projects under our belts and the awards we have received speak for themselves.”
Symbion has scooped several awards from the Architectural Association of Kenya for different projects. In 2008 they received Silver award for Nairobi Safari Walk in Kenya and Ngorongoro Serena Lodge in Tanzania.
In 2006, the firm scooped two Gold awards from the Architectural Association of Kenya for the UAP headquarters in Nairobi and the Serengeti Serena Lodge in Tanzania. It went on to receive two Bronze awards for the Serena Kampala Hotel in Uganda in interior design category and tourism and recreation category, It also won Bronze award for Crested Towers in Uganda. In early 2000, Symbion received the Gold award for the iconic Lilian Towers in Nairobi.
Perhaps one of the most striking features about Symbion is their ability to incorporate green features in designs. The firm is aware that Building construction and operation have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment. This is because buildings use resources such as energy, water and raw materials; generate waste and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions.
Awake to this reality, Symbion has endevoured to go green in its design. It is a move that has been informed by the speed in which buildings are being constructed in cities such as Nairobi that has resulted to green spaces quickly varnishing.
Symbion began its operation in Kenya in 1980 as an architectural partnership practice with renowned architect Jon Cavanagh at the helm. Over the years, the firm’s leadership has exchanged hands giving a rise to young and vibrant local directors such as its current managing director Mutua Mutuku.
Since its inception, Symbion has evolved and grown to establish regional offices in Uganda Tanzania and Botswana. In 2008, the architectural firm established a major office in Mombasa geared towards giving quality services to clients there.
The firm’s philosophy has been to grow talent in the region. They have therefore been working with young university graduates to ensure that Symbion legacy lives on years to come.
Symbion also participates in various Corporate Social Responsibility activities as a way of giving back to the society. For instance, its employees have registered in the Beyond Zero campaign aimed at ensuring safe child delivery among mothers in Kenya.
Thecompany has also been involved in various water projects in Ukambani areas to provide water to residents. Additionally, Symbion also supports the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation which supports orphans and poverty stricken children in Kenya.
“We will continue to be involved in noble activities in the region as part of our philosophy. In regards to our core business of architecture, we believe that we are the leaders and we will continue to focus on maintaining this position.”