Block 45 Architects

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Unlike in the past when there was a small pool of qualified architects to pick from, investors, government and other players in the construction industry in Kenya can now choose from a vast array of professional consultants capable of delivering high quality services that meet the expectations of today’s discerning clients.

While large established firms still get the lion’s share of big projects because of their perceived capabilities, newer entrants are increasingly giving them a run for their money by bagging sizeable projects across both public and private sectors.

Block 45 is one of the fairly young architectural firms in the country having been established only six years ago. However, the head of the practice, Mr Predrag Rajnovic (Pedja), is an experienced professional with nearly two decades in architecture. The firm is registered with the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (BORAQS) and Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK). It is also a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

HighgroveHighgrove: up market 5-bedroom homes in Spring Valley

Block 45 currently has a staff of six consisting of three architects, one interior designer, two technicians and one administration assistant. In future, the firm intends to expand to a partnership to depart from the current structure of sole proprietorship.

The firm is guided by the desire to give value for money. “We hope to grow our business by providing our clients with high quality service for a proportional fee”, says Mr Rajnovic. “By being careful to understand and translate a client’s vision into reality, we aim to always have satisfied clients.”

 Services Offered

Block 45 offers architectural, interior design and project management services. Most of its projects have been in the high-end residential market. However, it is now branching out into other sectors such as commercial and educational buildings. The director also has a wealth of experience in hotel design which would come in handy when contracted to provide services in the hospitality sector.

Projects Undertaken

Most of Block 45’s projects have been within Nairobi, Coast and Nyanza provinces. A few of these are:

o   Brookhouse Schoool – new kindergarten containing classrooms, dining hall and offices, log construction at Bomas/Langata

o   ISK Staff Housing – 32 no. modern, efficiently designed houses ranging from 2- to 4-bedrooms in Kitisuru

o   Highgrove – 28 no. up market 5-bedroom homes in Spring Valley

o   Mandharini – 104 no. villas and 50 no. apartments on a 9-hole golf estate in Kilifi

o   Log Houses – 2 no. up market 5-bedroom log homes in Spring Valley


Industry Perspectives

According to Mr Rajnovic, who holds a Bachelors Degree in Architecture among other qualifications, Nairobi is a sophisticated market where the client’s expectations often exceed the level of service they get. He feels that an improvement is needed in construction technology and access to locally manufactured products. “At the moment, the construction industry is heavily dependent upon imported goods, which makes procurement more complicated and building costs higher”, he says.

On professionalism and regulation of the construction industry in Kenya as a whole, Mr Rajnovic observes that although there are adequate regulations covering consultants, “on site we find that there is a shortage of qualified and skilled individuals.” He decries inefficiency in the building process which is normally reflected in the construction cost. Ultimately, he says, it is the developer who suffers.

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