The Dutch Embassy in Mozambique is located on the edge of Maputo’s town centre, close to the sea. The building sits on the edge of the gently sloping rectangular site to create space for a shaded courtyard. The building faces South – which is the cooler side in the southern hemisphere – and is much more closed on the northern side to allow light but little heat into the building.
The building and its surrounding garden walls are a monolith of rough concrete from which a chunk has been removed to create an opening and space for the garden; the missing mass is enclosed by a dense wooden fence that reproduces a motif derived from the local Portuguese colonial architecture.
The embassy building itself lies on the other side of the courtyard, framed by the steel columns of the veranda. The building consists of a rectangular volume with offices on the garden side, the technical elements the middle, and a two-storey circulation space along the south wall.
The wooden element that runs the length of the building though its middle encloses all the technical elements, liberating both floors from the aesthetic burden. The rough concrete of the exterior recurs in the floor and roof.