Congratulations!

You have chosen your winner. We will now notify all the other architects. We will contact you soon.



THANK YOU!

Your project brief has now been submitted for review and our dedicated advisors will be in contact within the next 48hrs. In the meantime, why not continue browsing our amazing community of architects.


Please verify your email

Thank you for signing up to Architects' Republic. Once your brief has been submitted for review, please take look out for a verification email to confirm your email address.

It looks like you have already signed up. Please to continue

Your account has not been verified yet. Please check your email and click link provided to verify your account.


Welcome to Architects' Republic.


An activation email has been sent. Please check your email.


Your account has been verified but has not yet been activated. We will be in touch shortly.


Password reset

Enter your email. We will send you a password update link.

 
A password reset link has been sent. Please check your email.

Login

 

Create Client Account

 
 

Please make sure you understand and accept our terms before using this site and showing interest in this opportunity.


  I agree to the Terms and Conditions outlined by Architects Republic.          


Thank you

We are pleased to confirm we have received your submission and we will be in touch once the client has made their decision.



Design Engine Architects

Design Engine Architects

Winchester, Hampshire

Design Engine Architects - British Embassy, Sana'a, Yemen

Design Engine Architects

New British Embassy in sensitive middle-east location.

Weathered steel and local stone

Weathered steel and local stone 



British embassy staircase

British embassy staircase 



British Embassy, Sana'a, Yemen

British Embassy, Sana'a, Yemen 



Wood, concrete, natural light

Wood, concrete, natural light 



Designing a new British Embassy for the post 9/11 world has meant dealing with extremes. At the outset of the design process, with the November 2003 Istanbul Embassy bombing fresh in our minds, it sometimes felt like an indulgence to be concerning ourselves with issues of architectural composition, materiality and landscape. Why not do as the Americans do, with their ‘off-the-shelf’ embassies; small, medium or large, bearing little relation to context perhaps but proven to be highly functional and secure? The answer of course is that, for the FCO, an embassy is the visual expression of a diplomatic approach based upon engagement and partnership, rather than on the exercise of overwhelming power. A fortress would not be appropriate.

We therefore felt our task was to create a highly secure building which is also generous and respectful towards its context in the host country. Our approach has been to reveal and celebrate this dichotomy rather than to try to hide it. Thus the body of the building is an honestly expressed concrete box, bedded into the sloping site. The form is eroded only at the north-west corner to create a welcoming consular/visa entrance, with a sense of openness where the perimeter wall gives way to railings allowing the public a view of the building.

The harsh but reassuring solidity of the concrete is tempered with the delicate weathering- steel brise-soleil, and by the extensive use of traditional elements in the landscape such as habash stone, and ‘zabur’ mud walls.

Embassies are by their nature cellular and at times labyrinthine, and this building is no exception. We were conscious of this from the start as the client brief established a very clear organizational diagram. Our reaction has been to create a major linear space that runs all the way through the building, containing the two arrival/waiting areas and the central circulation zone. Although this space is strictly separated using ballistic glass, it provides a strong sense of visual continuity and orientation. It allows all the people entering the building, regardless of their status, to enjoy the same space from completely different perspectives.

Winning in the international competition in 2003, the design for the new British Embassy in Yemen responds to the FCO brief for a ‘flagship building which demonstrates the best of British architecture’. The site on the new ring road in Sana’a slopes 12m across its length, allowing public and VIP entrances at two different levels.

New landscaped grounds are based on the theme of the Paradise Garden, giving 4 distinct character zones of varying levels, privacy and shade.

Word from the client

“On the one hand the ideal embassy is a highly secure underground bunker. However, on the other hand it needs to be a marquee with a large sign saying ‘do come in and have a cup of tea’”.