Part of our 2021 Black History Month series “9 Designers Reflect on the Past, Present & Future of Black History in Architecture“
Nicholas Awori, associate principal and architectural designer who has been with ZGF since 2000 in our Los Angeles office, reflects on an influential Black architect from his hometown in Nairobi, Kenya.
One of my greatest influences that paved the way before me as an architect is my next-door neighbor growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, Stan Webb. He is currently a retired American Black architect and Howard University School of Architecture alumnus who designed both residential and religious buildings. In fact, the townhouses that I grew up in and one of the churches that my mother attended, Valley Road Church in Nairobi, were both designed by him.
In addition, as a Howard graduate, he influenced my decision to also attend his alma mater—an HBCU in Washington D.C.—and the same university Vice President Kamala Harris attended. Attending an HBCU opened my eyes to the African Diaspora in ways I could never have imagined, forging friendships that I still maintain to this day 23 years later. I met my wife Liliana Awori at Howard University as well, and she too is one of the few African American registered architects.
Read more stories from this series here.