Kalala House

Location: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Client: Regional Assitance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) / SKM
Status: Completed 2008


Kalala House was an existing Solomon Islands Government Building - its simple form and tropical aesthetic reflected much of the government architecture constructed throughout the 1960's and 70's. Overtime the building was added along with the use of air-conditioning and as a result the ad hoc nature of condenser units created a dilapidated and somewhat inefficient design response to its former simple language. Our role was to rediscover its tropical heritage and develop a design that understood the tropics, whilst recognising the need for conditioned spaces as part of a contemporary office work environment. The buildings simple pitched roof and truss system enabled the design to utilise an open plan office layout that maximised the opportunity for natural light and cross ventilation. The long façade of each level to the West Wing was louvred from floor to ceiling with security and insect protection provided through the use of an integrated screen to minimise damage. Colour at the request of the client was used throughout, embracing the Islands vibrant culture and traditional use of colour in clothing and fabrics. Kalala House reflects the positive outcome when working with clients and communities seeking to maximise the opportunity for developing projects that consider local skills and technologies resulting in a sustainable design outcome that has provided a new lease of life to a dated building.


Photography: SKM