With vast experience in architecture, Steven Oundo director of Trioscape LTD, a thriving architectural firm in Nairobi continues to offer his services to the booming construction industry in the country.
A widely travelled architect Mr. Oundo says his ability to design bespoke projects has been informed by the best practices that he has emulated from trips abroad. For Steven good architecture takes into account energy efficiency, embraces green building and uses locally available material.
Since Oundo’s registration as a practicing architect in 2000 with the Board of registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors of Kenya and the subsequent establishment of the Practice, Steven has amassed a portfolio of bespoke projects ranging from commercial developments to education institutions, to religious and residential buildings.
One of the projects that Trioscape is currently involved in is the extension of St. Paul’s Catholic University Chaplain in Nairobi. The extension is supposed to incorporate a Father’s house, a number of self-contained units, meeting rooms, seminar room and a multipurpose hall.
The project that broke ground in January 2016 is expected to be completed in first quarter of 2017. The project is primely located on the major roads of the Nairobi’s State House Road, University Way and Nyerere Road.
“The biggest challenge was to make the extension look like it was part of the initial building. The ground conditions were also not suitable as “we had to dig deep to ensure the building foundations were able to stand firm,” says Mr. Oundo.
Other projects that Trioscape is currently carrying out includes a mixed urban development in Langata. Other projects successfully undertaken by Trioscape include residential developments in Ongata Rongai, Runda, Karen, Kitisuru, Kisumu and Busia in western Kenya among others development. Legacy Apartments in Dagoretti which was completed recently comprised of 88 elegantly finished residential units.
The Trioscape has also been involved in the proposed Multipurpose Hall at Our Lady of Visitation Makadara, The Extensions to the Father’s House at St Peter Clavers Catholic Church and the Proposed Adoration Chapel. The architectural firm has also been tasked to work on the proposed Community Centre at St. Vincent Paccotti Sacred Heart Parish Catholic Church in Dagoretti. Trioscape is also behind the completion works of a hotel whose construction is underway in Nairobi’s Kahawa Wendani area.
The firm’s major clientele has also extended to the banking sector, churches and schools. The firm is behind the design of fit outs branches of National bank, Barclays bank, Bank of Africa and Family Bank.. Trioscape has also done the extensions of the Kenya High School Library, dormitory renovations and provision of staff housing.
Backed by 8 experienced employees, Trioscape’s success emanates from the fact that the company puts its clients at the centre of everything they do.
“We work to give solutions to clients within reasonable budgets with high degree of creativity going into our projects says Mr. Oundo. He adds, “Our good relationship with clients backed with constant communication with them during design stage of projects has continued to ensure that we get repeat clients.” Trioscape plans exploit the opportunities presented by cross border practice and in particular hopes to break into Rwanda and Uganda markets.
“We have established a successful base in Kenya and we now want to go regional. Moving forward we intend to continue offering professional services to our clients to the best of our abilities and to their satisfaction. We understand that being leaders in this field is one thing and maintaining that position is another so we highly bank on our clients to continue help us attain this rising trajectory,”
Steven is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Architecture (honors) Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (Strategic Management) from the same University.
Mr. Oundo has held various key positions in the architectural field. For instance, he has been the Chairman of the Architectural Association of Kenya (2009-13), Treasurer of the Africa Union of Architects (2011-15), and Chair of Practice at the Commonwealth Association of Architects (2013-16).
Mr. Oundo was also the second Vice President of the East Africa Institute of Architects (2010-11) among many other prestigious positions. Oundo was also honoured by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya in December 2012 where he was awarded the Order of The Grand warrior of Kenya (OGW) for his distinguished service to the Nation.
Oundo is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Construction Authority (NCA) a position he has been holding since the inception of this newly formed state corporation in 2012
The mandate of NCA is to promote, regulate and stimulate the development of the construction industry in a safe and orderly way to enable it to meet development aspirations of Kenya in line with vision 2030 and to facilitate its competitiveness in the region through the exportation of construction services.
The Authority however has had to content with an uphill task of streamlining the industry that has for many years suffered poor legislative framework and been dominated by unqualified persons.
In this light NCA aims at facilitating a capacity building culture for the benefit of the industry’s stakeholders and the promotion of best practices of international repute and standard in the local construction industry through its core functions.
Recently NCA came under sharp focus owing to increased collapse of buildings in Nairobi and other parts of the Country. But for Oundo, the task of ensuring discipline in the build industry lies with many players where the government, the developer, the contractor, the architects and other consultants have to play their role.
“A construction project has a team of players that are responsible for it and when a building collapses, blame can be assigned to each member be it the government, developer, consultants or contractor depending on the circumstances.
Each player has their part to play with the government agencies in charge of law enforcement working together to ensure more vigilance and that the legislation and policies in the construction sector are strictly adhered to.”
But Mr. Oundo hopes that with time the menace of collapsing of buildings in the country will become a thing of the past with increased surveillance that will prevent corrupt and rogue developers from taking short cuts in their development
“To end this problem, the developer should follow the policies outlined while architects and engineers commissioned should play their professional role which is necessary for undertaking quality and safe construction works.
The short cuts methods such as seeking the services of quacks to purportedly save on costs should be nipped in the bud. Following correct procedures while developing a project can greatly reduce chances of the collapse of buildings.” he ends.