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British High Commission, Nairobi, Kenya

for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom

Won in limited competition and completed in 1997. The complex brief for this important Foreign Office project required administrative offices for different functions of the organisation (diplomatic, commercial, consular and aid) along with public reception spaces, meeting rooms and exhibition spaces. Ancillary buildings comprising a restaurant, club, workshop and staff housing complement the main building to form a coordinated ensemble on a fine site overlooking the centre of Nairobi.

The design was judged one of the 'Ten Buildings of the Year' by Building Design Magazine and has been the subject of a special exhibition at the British Council in Nairobi.

"Through careful siting and inventive use of local materials the New British High Commission is able to take advantage of passive environmental control strategies, providing a model for responsive architecture that learns from the past with integrity and never descends into pastiche."

Catherine Slessor, 'Diplomatic Service'. The Architectural Review, July 1997

The building is clad in solid stone with deep window reveals and a heavy structure to avoid the need for air conditioning. The locally quarried stone was worked with exceptional craftsmanship on site to achieve very fine (1mm) dry joints between courses. The landscaping was designed in collaboration with Melanie Schwenke, a local soft landscaping consultant, and Kate Whiteford, an artist whose work has included a number of landscape / site pieces. (Contract value c.7.5m)

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