British Embassy Yemen – Sana’a Building

British Embassy Sana’a, Yemen Building, Images, Design, Architect

British Embassy Yemen : Sana’a Building

Yemeni Architectural Development – by Design Engine Architects

6 Mar 2013

British Embassy, Sana’a

Architects: Design Engine

British Embassy, Sana’a, Yemen

Client: Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK

The new British Embassy in Sana’a is one of the first embassies to be built following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s review of security of their overseas network, which was prompted by the threat from international terrorism to Britain’s diplomatic missions around the world.

The new Embassy is located to the north-east of the city centre in an area destined to become a new diplomatic district.

British Embassy Yemen
photograph © Peter Cook

Design Engine won the competition, run buy the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, to provide a highly secure building which demonstrated the best of British Architectural engineering and design.

Design Engine’s winning design proposed a simple, secure, reinforced concrete structure, bedded into the sloping site. This is overlaid by a delicate architecture of steel canopies and brise-soleil, providing visual articulation and acting as a climatic modifier. The potential for saving energy and resources was illustrated with proposals for passive cooling, rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling.

British Embassy Sana'a Yemen British Embassy Sana'a Yemen British Embassy Sana'a Yemen British Embassy Sana'a Yemen
photos © Peter Cook

The design team worked closely with the FCO to refine the physical security and operational philosophy for the Embassy. Key parts of the external envelope were manufactured in prototype and subjected to rigorous blast and ballistic testing. This process had a profound influence on the material and architectural expression of the building.

The team consulted local experts to learn about the materials and skills available in Yemen and sought to integrate these into the design.

British Embassy Sana’a images / information received 050313

British Embassy Sana’a architects : Design Engine

Date: 2005-07
Approx. building cost: £5.5m
Client: Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK
Engineers: Whitby Bird

Award:Yemen building : British Embassy Sana’a – RIBA International Award 2007


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