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New British High Commission, Kampala, Uganda

Winner - RIBA International Award, 2008

The High Commission is arranged as a composition of distinct but linked elements housing the main embassy offices along with the visa section, a clubhouse, a library and exhibition spaces. Beyond the main entrance with its large oversailing canopy, a courtyard provides a sheltered environment and focus for the offices.

In response to the climate, the building has the capacity to be completely naturally ventilated. Wherever possible, perforated screens provide cross ventilation and where there are windows, these are large, openable and shaded. The different elements of the building are situated in a lush, landscaped garden which provides shade and a cooler microclimate.

Construction methods have been chosen for solidity, longevity and low maintenance, making the most, wherever possible, of local materials and skills. The concrete-framed buildings will be finished in red brick with clay tile roofs in keeping with the Kampala vernacular. Stone for paving is quarried in Uganda. Artwork for the site will be provided by a local artist. From the start, as with many of our projects, the building has been designed to be low energy and to make minimal negative impact on the environment.

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