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British Council Offices, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by British Council in-house architects

The British Council has moved into these new 550m² offices in central Addis Ababa, Ethiopia designed by the British Council’s own in-house architects

The design replaces the existing high solid wall that currently surrounds the Embassy compound and replaces it with an open railing to maximise the visibility of the new building and creates a feeling of openness and approachability.

Emma Vergette, Head of Architecture at the British Council said: ‘We want the building to project an image of contemporary UK, but have used the city of Addis Ababa as the source of reference for its architectural language.’

Security has been a big driver for the design of the building resulting in a long narrow building set back from the main road with minimal glazing on the front facade.

Historically the site of the capital city was chosen partly for its large natural resource of forests. The British Council has chosen to celebrate the importance of timber to the city in the design by re-using the eucalyptus and other hardwood trees that had to be felled as part of the site clearance.

The timber was roughly sawn and cut into randomly sized planks and applied to the left hand side of the front facade. This gives a highly textured wall when either naturally or artificially lit.

Readers' comments (1)

  • A definite improvement on the last BC offices in Addis. Sensible attention to security (as Addis has to be one of the more 'challenging' places to visit) not to mention the detailing on the facade that gives much needed shade: rather important in the sweat-box that is Addis!

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