Employee Profile: Gyan Manu, Associate AIA

By Daniel Dahlman

Gyan Manu is part of the team of architects and designers at Wentworth, Inc. and manages client projects through all stages; from initial conceptual sketches, to design development, and construction documents. At each step of the way, Gyan is there to ensure that every project meets Wentworth’s standards for quality, beauty, and attention to detail.

Gyan is involved with a client’s remodeling project from day one. A client will often discuss particular design issues they have with their home. In the early stages of a project the team measures and photographs the house to prepare “as-built plans”. When the as-built plans are ready the design team can commence the design phase, and Gyan, head architect Bruce Wentworth, AIA, and interior designer Chris Patrick, all sit down for a design meeting, or charrete, and develop three or four design solutions for each project.

The design process is one of Gyan’s favorite phases of a remodel.

“No two projects are alike,” says Gyan. “Each project involves learning as much as possible about the way clients live, and then designing creative solutions to make their homes more comfortable. Every single project has different challenges and it excites my intellect to find new solutions to these problems.”

Part of what makes the design through construction process so smooth and enjoyable is that Wentworth, Inc. is a design-build firm. Wentworth offers a unique service in that architecture, interior design, and construction professionals are collaborating together, in-house, toward a shared and clearly articulated design vision and budget.

“The fact that Wentworth provides design-build services is an important benefit,” says Gyan. “Traditionally, your architect, interior designer, and contractors are all separate, which can cause a lot of problems due to finger pointing and communication issues.”

Horror stories of projects that are delayed for weeks, or even months, due to poor planning and coordination among different contractors, architects, and designers are familiar to most clients. Gyan emphasizes the fact that, “the Wentworth design-build process brings all these professionals together, making it easier for everyone. Since we are skilled at managing the entire process, the remodel becomes hassle-free for the homeowner.”

Gyan, who grew up Ghana, has been interested in building and design from an early age. Although he was initially drawn to the idea of constructing ships and pursuing a career as a nautical engineer, Gyan’s father was a contractor in Ghana and he grew up surrounded by builders, craftsmen, and architects. A skilled illustrator, Gyan was attracted to the detailed design and construction documents his father used to build projects of varying sizes and dimensions.

Project Sketch

By the time he was 14 years old, Gyan knew he wanted to pursue architecture and found a mentor in an architect friend of his father’s named Mr. Taylor. After receiving his architecture degree from the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, he had the opportunity to work with his father on the construction side of the industry. The invaluable knowledge Gyan gained from his father still guides his design process today.

“Knowing how things are on the construction side influences the design decisions you make,” says Gyan. “When you are engaged in the design process, there is always the back and forth question of ‘Can this be built?’ Having been part of the construction process certainly helps with that mode of thinking.”

Final Result

Gyan’s extensive background-which includes working both in Ghana and the U.S. and designing both residential and commercial projects, gives him a wide breadth of experience and skills to draw from. Throughout all his experience, residential remodeling remains his true passion.

“I’ve done both commercial and residential work, but one of the reasons I prefer residential is the emotional involvement,” says Gyan. “Nothing is more beautiful than being part of a process that ultimately improves the quality of life for a family or individual.”

Gyan has been with the firm for nearly three years and his commitment to high quality, beautiful design is evident in every project he is a part of. “What we do here happens on a very personal level,” he says. “ We are on a first name basis with all our clients, we gather information on all the minute details of how clients live, and provide solutions based on that in-depth understanding- all of these things I find exciting and very satisfying.”

Gyan loves what he does, and has a great time doing it—the goal of every professional.