TRIAD Architects & Planners was founded in 1963, by Amyas Connell and Graham McCullough, who went on to play a major role in Kenya’s modern architectural heritage. Amyas had been part of a young group of modernist architects in the UK where he had set up his first practice in 1929 and then in 1933 formed the respected practice of Connell, Ward and Lucas. He then came to East Africa in 1946 where he designed the Kenyan Parliament in Nairobi, an icon of modern architecture and the Aga Khan Hospital for which he gained an RIBA Gold Medal. Graham was a founder member of the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) and in the 1970s designed with great innovation the first safari lodges that included the Ark, Keekorok and Samburu Lodges.
Soon after TRIAD Nairobi was set up, in 1963, David Bristow, and a group of partners who included Amyas’ son James, merged their small architectural firms in the UK to form an associated office, TRIAD London. David first came to Kenya in 1975 as part of the TRIAD London team working on the Diani Tourism Project. Soon after that he was invited to take up the role of Director in charge of TRIAD Nairobi, which he did in 1976.
TRIAD Nairobi had been going through a difficult period as both Amyas and Graham had virtually retired from practicing in the early 1970s and had left Harry Averley, a planner, who had led in the Diani Study, in charge.
When David took over he brought stability to the practice and presided over a period of sustained growth in Kenya and the region stretching for over 16 years. Carrying on the tradition of Amyas and Graham, David set the practice on a strong path of professionalism and design excellence, which has been maintained to this day. David retired in 1992 but continued on as a consultant, until the year 2003.
Timothy Vaulkhard first came to Kenya from the UK in 1969, as a volunteer with VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas). Soon after, he joined Braz Menezes as a young architect working on the planning of the Buru-Buru Estate. He joined TRIAD Nairobi in 1973, and quickly rose to become a lead associate architect, then Director in 1976. He played a significant role in TRIAD’s office administration as well as in many key projects spanning the breath of TRIAD’s work over 40 years in Kenya and the region. Timothy retired in 2013, but remains a consultant to the practice.
Daniel Mutiso, joined TRIAD straight out of architecture school, University of Nairobi, in 1976 on recruitment by David Bristow. He went on to become TRIAD’s first African partner and played a significant role in Triad’s growth by securing many projects for the firm during the push to Africanize the industry by the newly independent Kenya government. He was the prime contact and partner in charge for many key projects like Corner House and Times Tower, both significant buildings on Nairobi’s skyline. Daniel retired from the practice in the year 2000.
Today, TRIAD’s directors are; James Gitoho, the chairman of the board, who joined TRIAD in 1981; Julius Kibwage, who joined TRIAD in 1987; Charles Ndungu who joined TRIAD in 1995; Paul Oburu who joined Triad in 2014, having previously worked in Atkins Dubai for 19 years; and Cecilia Wahinya, who joined TRIAD in 2010. The TRIAD office includes a team of Architects, Interior Designers Architectural Assistants, Construction Managers, Project Secretaries and other support staff working from TRIAD offices at 83 Muthaiga Road, Nairobi; the same address dating back to 1963.
TRIAD Nairobi retains active associations with practices in Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, London, Johannesburg, Chicago and London.
TRIAD’s experience spanning over 50 years includes the successful designing and delivery of over 3900 projects with a wide range of typologies that include; Master Plans, Hotels, Office & Urban developments, Shopping malls, Residential, Institutional, and Industrial developments, and Corporate Interiors.
TRIAD prides itself of having and maintaining a clear corporate governance structure, and in the year 2000 became the first Kenyan architectural practice to attain ISO certification. We have since then continued to retain this well-respected quality management system as certified by ISO, currently – ISO 9001:2015.