Australian Embassy

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Client: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Status: Completed 2014


The new Australian Embassy, Ethiopia is located in Addis Ababa and reflects the growing importance of Africa to Australia as a trading, tourism and immigration partner. The Embassy has the responsibilty for Australia’s relations with Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union whose headquarters are located in Addis. The chancery comprised the refurbishment and expansion of an existing contemporary residential building to a facility that would meet the very specific needs of a functioning embassy. The 4 level building includes a number of Government Departments with the opportunity for growth to accommodate future departmental partners as required. The overall architectural design intent was to provide an efficient, yet comfortable working environment for Embassy staff  whilst being representative of Australia through a strong, restrained material and colour palate to the fitout. Balancing the architectural intent with in-country construction skills posed ongoing issues managed through regular communication with site and detailing that acknowledged the limitations without compromising on quality. Working within the confines of an existing residential architectural aesthetic presented a number of complex challenges, notably how the refurbishment would express an Australian identity. Key to this was through the use of materials - with an emphasis on colours and textures that reflect Australia’s environmental landscape. The completed building exposed the difficulties of working in the region but also reinforced the importance of respect and partnership in achieving a successful outcome. 



Photography: James Cubitt Architects