From Right: Lynette Masai: Graduate Designer, Stella Mutegi: Founder + Director, Noelle Oyunga: Intern, Kevin Mwangi: Graduate Designer, John Kariuki: Architect, Priscillah Msafari: Administration Manager, Kabage Karanja: Founder + Director.
We are a Nairobi based bureau of architects and designers charting explorations into architecture and urbanism within nature. Our work addresses the anthropological and geological context of the African city as a means to confront the complexities of our contemporary rural and urban lives.
The bureau is driven to develop systems and structures that improve the human condition, without negatively impacting the natural environment and social fabric our communities. We navigate a return to the limitless curiosity of our early ancestors, conducting playful and intensive research studies into caves within and around Nairobi. These studies form part of a broader decoding of pre and post colonial conditions of the city, explored through drawing, storytelling, construction, and the curation of performative events of resistance.
Kabage Karanja (riba)
Kabage is a director and founder of Cave_bureau, starting the practice in 2014 alongside Stella Mutegi and Balmoi Abe. His passion for the natural environment, and his geological and anthropological investigations into architecture and nature helped shape the practice and the work it has produced.
He leads the research at Cave, where he orchestrates expeditions and surveys into caves within the rift valley, while steering the creative direction and delivery of all cave projects.
A UK qualified architect since 2011; Kabage has worked at Symbion in Kenya, 3DReid Architects in Central London, Quay-2Cs Architects, in, Peckham,London, and Bohn & Viljoen Architects, in Dulwich, London.
Kabage studied at Loughborough University, Brighton University, Westminster University, and Kingston University where he completed his architectural education, qualifying as an Architect under the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He is also a member of the Architectural Association of Kenya.
He writes on architecture and is regularly invited to the University of Johannesburg to review student work at the Graduate School Of Architecture.
Kabage is a serial sketcher and story teller, driven to script and communicate cave thinking surrounding the built and natural environment.
Stella Mutegi (maaka)
Stella is a director and founder of Cave_bureau, starting the practice in 2014 alongside Kabage Karanja and Balmoi Abe. Her pragmatic and yet lateral attention to detail complements her wide breadth of experience in the creative and delivery phases of our projects.
She heads the technical department at Cave, where she orchestrates the seamless coordination of our ideas into built form. Stella is well known in the office as the problem slayer of all design issues. She is able to solve all manner of design related challenges with mind boggling ease.
A Kenyan qualified architect since 2009; Stella has worked at Symbion Kenya, Dimensions Architects, and Interior Designers in Kenya.
Stella studied at University of Newcastle in Australia where she completed her architectural education, before returning back home to Kenya.
She then qualified as an Architect under the Board of Registration of Architects & Quantity Surveyors (BORAQS) and is a member of the Architectural Association of Kenya.
Cave profile 2019 ———>