Netherlands Embassy Mozambique
The Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique is located close to the ocean and just outside the centre of the country’s capital, Maputo. The building has been pushed to the edge of a gently sloping, orthogonal site so as to leave room for a walled garden. The embassy faces south, allowing light in but not heat, as climate considerations played a large part in the design.
The building is a rough concrete monolith, with filigree detailing, from which a section is extracted to create an opening and space for the courtyard. Steel columns support the veranda – an element borrowed from the local Portuguese colonial architecture – and the line of columns continue to wrap around an inner garden where wooden slats complete the enclosure. Twelve ornate trees enliven the garden and break the sunlight. The embassy has a rectangular volume with offices on the garden side, facilities in a central zone, and a two-storey circulation zone along the southern wall.