Symbion: 4O Years of Architectural Excellence

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When the history of architecture in Kenya is finally written, the name Symbion will be firmly engraved therein. For it is incomprehensible to discuss the architectural sector in Kenya without mentioning Symbion Architects and the role the renowned studio has played in shaping the built environment in this country and beyond.

Indeed, numerous major landmarks in Kenya and the larger East Africa region bear Symbion’s signature. From hospitality to high-rise commercial complexes, health to education, residential to mixed use developments, Symbion has featured constantly. The firm has undertaken projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Botswana, Mozambique and Seychelles and maintains a regional presence with offices in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kampala.

This year, the firm that has built itself a reputation for greatness is celebrating 40 years. It was on 8th September 1980 that two architects, Peter Derek Thomas and Jon Antony Cavanagh, came together to establish an architectural practice that would later outgrow them to become the big name that it is today. From the humble design partnership, Symbion is now recognised as one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading architectural practices, providing core services that include: Architecture, Interior Design, Project Co-ordination, Project Management, Design Management, Value Management, Information Management, Contract Management, Independent Technical Audits and Urban Planning. It has an enviable portfolio that puts it right in the league of the big players, having served more than 200 public and private clients.

Symbion and its team of skilled project managers, architects and interior designers together with specialist consultants are able to offer comprehensive design services from the initial feasibility study through to the completed contract on all types of work ranging from small one-off extensions to large commercial, health, hospitality and residential developments.

Says Managing Director Arch Mutua Mutuku: “We have a depth of knowledge and expertise afforded by a cumulatively widely skilled team where each team member brings a different perspective to the solution of a brief, which provides for high quality, professionally delivered multi-layered solutions to client requirements. This in turn ensures value to the client through the lifetime of the project.” According to Arch Mutuku, it is these synergies that create a competitive edge that sets the award-winning practice apart from others. The firm also leverages on cutting edge technology, acquiring latest software and hardware for its team to remain ahead. Symbion is a fully CAD-based operation, using ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Sketch-up and 3D Max. All the architects, interior designers and technicians are CAD efficient.

The Symbion team currently consists of 9 architects, 2 interior designers, 6 technicians, 2 project managers and 11 administrative staff.  At the helm are Architects Mutuku (Managing Director), Oscar Ogunde (Executive Director) and Arthur Oyugi (Executive Director). Lorna Moraa is the Group Finance Director while Arch George Munene serves as Associate Director.  Retired Arch M.A. Lord serves as a consultant.