Tributes paid to architect murdered in Nairobi siege
Former colleagues have paid tribute to Ross Langdon killed during the shopping centre siege in Nairobi last weekend
The London-based, Australian-born architect – who previous worked for John McAslan and David Adjaye – and his pregnant partner Elif Yavuz were among 62 hostages killed by al-Shabaab terrorists during the four day assault.
Regional Associates – the Soho-based company set up by Langdon in 2008 – described its founder as ‘profoundly talented and full of life’ and ‘inspirational’.
Its statement read: ‘We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Ross Langdon and his partner Elif Yavuz.
‘Profoundly talented and full of life, Ross enriched the lives of all those around him. Ross’s leadership on projects throughout East Africa was inspirational, and he will be will be very, very sorely missed by us all.
‘Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with Ross and Elif’s families at this very difficult time.’
Hannah Lawson, director at John McAslan + Partners said: ‘Ross was a truly creative architect with a genuine talent - passionate and uncompromising in his work. He was absolutely committed to creating architecture that was both innovative and humane.
‘His death is a terrible loss not only for his family but also for architecture and in particular the African communities with whom he worked.’
Lucy Tilley, head of Adjaye Associates’ London office said: ‘We are all terribly sad to hear of the death of Ross Langdon, who worked for Adjaye Associates some years ago. His passing has been a shocking revelation and we send heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.’
Mangera Yvars Architects founders Ada Yvars Bravo and Ali Mangera also paid tribute.
‘Ross was a very talented Architect. He worked with us on several projects and we are all deeply upset at his passing. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family and to the family of his lovely girlfriend, Elif.’
Tasmanian-born Langdon graduated from the University of Sydney with a first class degree in 2004 and won first prize in Norway’s Bodo International Ideas Competition in 2008.
Langdon was completing an HIV centre in Uganda, where the practice had a site office, and was about to start work on a fossil museum in Kenya before the Westgate Shopping Centre attack.
The couple had relocated to be closer to Nairobi’s hospitals because Yavuz – who worked as a vaccines researcher in Tanzania for the Clinton Foundation – was expecting her baby within two weeks.
In a joint family statement, former US president Bill Clinton said: ‘Elif was brilliant, dedicated, and deeply admired by her colleagues, who will miss her terribly. Elif devoted her life to helping others, particularly people in developing countries suffering from malaria and HIV/AIDS.
‘On behalf of the entire Clinton Foundation, we send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Elif’s family and her many friends throughout the world.’