Triad at 50 – Celebrating 50 Years of Professional Excellence

Triad at 50 – Celebrating 50 Years of Professional Excellence



Triad at 50
Troad founder Amyas Cornell (left) and former director David Bristow (r)

Triad Co-founder Amyas Connell came to East Africa in 1946, shortly after the end of the Second World War, with his reputation as an acknowledged radical member of the International Movement and the respected practice of Connell Ward Lucas.

He was the genius who designed the iconic Parliament Building and the Attorney General Chambers, some of today’s landmark in Nairobi and fine examples of the quality and style of his architecture.

Amyas won a RIBA Bronze medal for the design of the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, another signature building for Triad.

Graham McCullough was the other co-founder of Triad. He was also the founder of the Professional Centre which was built in the early 1970s to provide a focal point for various professionals in the country.

Graham was the first chairman and first member of the Architectural Association of Kenya who held the first registration certificate. His commitment to the development of professionalism, design innovation and good management in architecture is expressed through some of the first game lodges in East Africa e.g. The Ark in the Aberdares, Samburu Lodge and the Keekorok Lodge in the Maasai Mara. Graham also designed the notable Kenya Science Teachers College along Ngong road.

Both Amyas and Graham have since passed away.

While the buildings they designed will forever bear their mark, it was their desire to ensure that Triad outlived them. The two founders effectively groomed the second generation of architects that would assume the mantle of leadership for the firm including Timothy Vaulkhard, David Bristow and Daniel Mutiso.

Vaulkhard has been with the firm for the last 40 years, having joined Triad in 1973 to date. He became a director in 1978 and is currently the senior consultant in the firm.

David Bristow was a design guru who enjoyed doing sensitive design work. He joined Triad in 1975 and was a senior partner as well as the financial director until his retirement in 2003. He designed the Diani Reef Hotel in Mombasa, also had major input in the design of the Times Tower.

The first decade of Triad’s existence was a difficult period as it coincided with the first ten years of independence when confidence in the new country was growing slowly and new commissions were scarce. Competition from new and dynamic Kenyan indigenous firms also presented a challenge.

Somehow, Triad managed to survive this period. The partners realized that for the firm to survive Triad needed to change the practice by meeting the aspirations of the emerging Kenyan professional cadre. As a result of the change process, Triad partnered with Daniel Mutiso. The move profoundly altered the future of the firm seeing its transition from a fundamental European practice to a local practice. Daniel Mutiso has since passed away and his untimely death was a huge loss to the practice as expressed by Tim.

Buildings that bear the mark of the second generation of architects at Triad are mainly the Longonot Place and Norfolk Towers.

Like Amyas and Graham, the second generation also trained and groomed young and dynamic architects who are today running the firm. That is James Gitoho, Julius Kibwage Charles Ndung’u and Cecilia Wahinya, with Tim Vaulkhard as a consultant.

Leave a Reply