Security concerns required the British Embassy in Zimbabwe to relocate from a city centre commercial office to a secure compound in the suburbs. The buildings would include the Embassy, Offices for DIFID, Visa Consular Services, a social centre for staff, workshops, pool and tennis courts.
The buildings needed to be both secure and straight forward to construct. The political and economic situation in Zimbabwe made everyday life difficult and skills, resources and enthusiasm were all hard to find. Simple, well-lit spaces were shaded from the sun and built using local materials wherever possible, resulting in a series of in-situ concrete buildings around gardens planted with indigenous trees and shrubs.
Inflation was running at 1,000,000% during the contract and there were significant social and political tensions in the country during the period of the design and construction. Getting the project completed at all was an achievement!