Seasoned architect, consultant, arbitrator, and administrator, Dr. Lanre Towry-Coker’s sphere of influence stretches beyond his core professional field of Architecture. Although his expertise in matters related to housing development, urban planning, integrated designs and construction management is top-notch, he has demonstrated equal capability in other fields of endeavour, including private and public service. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Towry-Coker Associates (TCA), a prominent Nigerian architectural firm which he established in 1976. As well as requiring that he demonstrate his professional nous ensuring that projects are delivered to high standards, the position also demands of him a level of administrative and management capability to keep the firm’s operations running at optimum levels. In both regards, he has delivered admirably. The company has since inception delivered architecturally exquisite projects both for residential and commercial purposes across Nigeria. Through his business development expertise, he has placed the company at the forefront of competition in the industry by forging consortia and winning design and construction contracts from both public and private organisations.
A measure of Arch. Towry-Coker’s industry impact can be gleaned from his role in the development of the Abuja master plan, an architectural masterpiece he delivered in collaboration with a team of expatriates. It was he also that developed the original concept of the Federal Capital’s first hotel, Sheraton Hotel, a job that he did to world-class specifications. This brilliant architect further earned for himself industry bragging rights when he beat other competitors to land for his company the design project for the Abuja Conference Centre. By 1992, Dr. Towry-Coker’s professional approval rating had hit the roofs with his outwitting of a hundred other competitors to win the contract to design the World Bank Resident Mission Headquarters and Residences in Abuja.
Lanre’s accomplishments in the field of Architecture tell only a part of the story of this man of many parts. The success that trailed his public service only serves to complement the full range of his abilities. His appointment as Lagos State’s Commissioner for Works and Housing between 1999 and 2003 brought an era of a mini revolution in the area of housing in the state. In four years on the saddle, he spearheaded and implemented policies for the development of about fifteen housing estates for middle class residents in Lagos; completed about four abandoned estate projects, and facilitated the Lagos urbanisation process. Prior to his appointment, he had had intermittent stints serving in different parastatals and agencies in Lagos State. He was the Chairman of Lagos Waste Disposal Board between 1984 and 1985; the Chairman of Lagos State Luna Park in 1985, and a member of Lagos State Tenders Board. His extensive involvement in both public and private practices amply prepared him for the managerial and leadership demands of his role as commissioner.
While still a commissioner, he was appointed a member to the Presidential Technical Committee on Housing and Urban Development between 2001 and 2002. Further and much higher recognition came his way with his appointment as Special Adviser on Housing and Urban Development to President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was required to provide leadership and technical advice in the country’s attempt to emulate South Africa’s successes in housing delivery to its citizens. Having made his mark in politics, he returned to his private practice as the CEO of Towry-Coker & Associates.
As an Arbitrator, Dr. Towry-Coker has assisted the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) in making international connections, leading several delegates of the professional body to different regional and international professional gatherings as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and International Relations Committee of the institute. He also represented the NIA at the World Photo-voltaic Association, a programme organised by the International Union of Architects. Other delegations he led include the ones to the Commonwealth Institute of Architects in Australia and the United States Building Business Symposium, among others.
Lanre Towry-Coker is a member of the Nigerian-Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA). He is a founding member of the Nigerian-German Business Council, a member of the Nigerian Finnish Chamber of Commerce and a member of different boards of companies and charitable organisations that include the Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation, the Centre for Conflict Resolution, and the Centre for the Promotion of an Industrial Society.
Dr. Towry-Coker attended the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and Thames University for his architectural training. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture from the University of North East London, and also attended the world-famous Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He has a PhD in Geography and Planning from the Lagos State University. An Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the United Kingdom (ACI. Arb.) and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (FNIA), he is a graduate of the Harvard University School of Business Administration (OPM), United States.
Towry-Coker is also the President of GTI-SA, an international engineering conglomerate with a desire to engage in the development of Africa through infrastructure development projects. He is also the Chairman, CityScape International Limited. He is happily married with three children, all of whom are graduates from prestigious overseas Universities. Architect Towry-Coker is a member of numerous elite social and sports clubs like the Lions Club International, Metropolitan Club (Lagos), Ikoyi Club (Lagos), Polo Club (Lagos), the Lagos Motor Boat Club, and Yoruba Tennis Club.