The British High Commission in Kampala is a landmark building in the Ugandan capital that has received international recognition for its outstanding design.
The 2008 RIBA International Award Winner was created by London-based Kilburn Nightingale Architects, with FBW Group’s local knowledge and experience playing a key role in the success of the development.
FBW acted as the local architects and structural and civil engineers on the $7.5m scheme for the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Throughout its 25 years in East Africa, FBW has worked on embassies and residencies for a number of countries, as well as the United Nations and development agencies. Its portfolio of projects includes cultural centres and even border posts.
Its links with the Foreign & Commonwealth Officed reach back into the very early days in Tanzania when it worked on High Commission residences in Daar es Salam.
The British High Commission building in Uganda was constructed using locally available materials with the emphasis on creating an “open building” responding to the tropical climate while satisfying the highly sensitive security requirements of the building user.
Arranged around a sunken courtyard it houses the main embassy offices, a visa section, clubhouse, library and exhibition spaces and sits in lush, landscaped gardens
The building has been designed to be low energy and to make minimal negative impact on the environment.
FBW has also worked on the Swedish Embassy in Kampala and the design and construction of the Algerian Ambassador’s residence in the city.
And it has been involved in projects for the German government and its diplomatic staff in Kampala, Kigali and Nairobi.
In 2014 FBW started on its designs for the UN’s new Mechanism of International Criminal Tribunals in Arusha, Tanzania. The project consisted of three separate buildings housing a court, offices and an archive.
FBW has provided architecture, structural and civil engineering, and mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) engineering services on the project.
Other notable projects include the Ndere Centre in Kampala, the three-phased $8m development which got underway in 2001. It is the home of the Uganda Development Theatre Association and cultural dance group, the Ndere Troupe.
Set in open parkland, the mixed-use cultural facility includes an open-air amphitheatre and a multi-purpose auditorium for 300 visitors, a reception building, café, staff facilities and offices.
In 2015 FBW acted as local architects and project managers on the construction of a one-stop border post for Trademark East Africa and the Tanzanian Revenue Authority.
The post at Kabanga, on the border of Tanzania and Burundi, includes immigration and customs facilities.
FBW managing director Paul Moores says: “Our work with private and institutional clients and over the 25 years has built longstanding relationships and valuable collaborations as well as delivering some outstanding developments.
“We are proud to have become a trusted ‘Partner of Choice’ for projects across the region.
“Clients are able to utilise our local knowledge and our multi-disciplinary expertise to deliver these high-profile projects to international standards.”
Milestones for FBW during this time include the arrival of Nigel Tilling, who is director of architecture, in 2001.
That year also saw FBW Group’s first realised project in Uganda, a commercial development that delivered car showroom and offices for Motorcare in Kampala.