Association of Architects of Kenya (AAK) | Company Profiles

Spotlight on architecture in Kenya

Nurturing a growing construction sector with innovation and sustainability

Screenwriter: Phoebe Harper | Project Manager: Alfie Wilson

Kenya’s built environment is shaped by a host of architectural firms across the country, who dream up the ideas that contractors and construction specialists bring to life.

The country’s construction industry is a thriving sector and one of the few that has really seen an expansion in the year 2020. According to a Business Wire report, this expansion is only expected to continue from 2022 to 2025. , as Kenya’s infrastructure is growing rapidly. and development.

Such projects in the built environment relate to commercial, residential and infrastructure developments in the public realm, as seen with the upcoming construction plans for the new Nairobi Central Station. Architects will continue to be the backbone of this continued demand.

As with architecture around the world, buildings increasingly incorporate environmentally friendly techniques and resources. This flourishes in line with an aesthetic preference for modern, minimalist structures that combine both design and functionality.

Modern trends in the African architectural space focus on a reverence for materials and styles that listen to their national heritage, using a building to celebrate its continental roots. These native eco-materials can include clay or even coconut leaves used to clad a structure.

The world-renowned Pritzker Prize for Architecture has recognized Africa as a destination that is home to some of the best architecture in the world, thanks to the combination of creativity, functionality and innovation. Witness the Burkinabè architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré, who in 2022 became the first African and black architect to win the prize. Kéré himself has worked on landmark projects in Kenya, including the Startup Lions ICT Campus in Turkana, an iconic design inspired by the shape and structure of termite mounds.

Leading Kenyan firms in the architectural sector, such as SK Archplans, TRIAD Architects and Beglin Woods, are strengthened by their membership in the industry body uniting the field and advocating global best practice.

Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK)

A brief overview of the industry body dedicated to advancing the architectural landscape of East Africa

Established in 1967, the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) is Kenya’s leading association for professionals in the built and natural environment, bringing together architects, quantity surveyors, town planners, engineers, landscape architects, environmental design and construction project managers.

The association is registered under the Companies Act and brings together professionals from the private sector, public sector and academia. AAK also acts as a vital link between construction industry professionals and stakeholders, including policy makers, manufacturers, property developers and financial institutions.

Centered on the core values ​​of transparency, service delivery, teamwork, professionalism and innovation, AAK strives to be the leading professional organization in Kenya’s built and natural environment.

AAK works with a list of esteemed partners including the African Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS), the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), the International Project Management Association (IPMA) and the African Union of Architects (AUA). ) to name just a few.

The association has won awards of excellence for a host of iconic construction projects across Kenya, as seen with the Lamu Apartments, Enshapai Resort, The Hub Karen and the Swahili Gem.

Currently, the AAK has over 5,000 members spanning the private sector, academia and government. With the new Kenyan government now in place, AAK is concerned about the #KenyaWeWant campaign, which identifies issues in the sector that will need to be prioritized by facilitating an open platform for dialogue across the industry. Key issues within this framework include climate justice, sustainable urban growth, improving the business environment, urban mobility and urban governance reform.

INVESTING IN A GREEN FUTURE

In its commitment to building an environmentally sustainable future for Kenya, AAK recently launched the Safari Green Building Index. A fully owned and designed initiative of the association, it is an industry-leading critical scoring tool that has been rigorously reviewed by a host of industry experts.

The Safari Green Building Index was developed by the AAK’s Environmental Design Consultants (EDC) Chapter Technical Committee. As a national rating system, the tool can be applied to any type of building in Kenya’s different climatic zones, and beyond in other East African countries.

AAK also champions the environmental cause by organizing events, where industry players can network and discuss these topics, as seen with the CPD event to be held on September 29, 2022. Organized by the EDC chapter, this exclusive event is dedicated to the theme of work. towards effective waste management across the built environment and identifying future opportunities for improvement.

Andrew B. Reiter