Embassy Building

The South African Embassy building was inaugurated in November 2003 and is located in Tiergartenstraße 18, 10785 Berlin. The building is four storeys high and was the first South African Embassy building to be built after the end of apartheid in 1994. I the 180 square meters Atrium as well as in the very bright and accessible corridors, visitors can admire a variety of South African art. Most of the materials used for construction came from South Africa, like the beige facade which was bought from a quarry near Johannesburg.

Prototype of the New South African Architecture

The new Embassy building is to embody a modern South Africa with an efficient administrative system while at the same time reflecting the diverse traditions of the country. The building stands as an embodiment of the new South African architecture which has become possible after the fall of apartheid and which strives for a fusion of modernity and tradition. It is a prototype of the new architectural and representative appearance of the State on the international scene.

Mirror of South African Cultures and Traditions

The Embassy building which was designed by mma architects (Mphethi Moroje, Luyanda Mpahlwa, Alun Samuels, Gandhi Maseko, Johannesburg/Cape Town/Berlin) follows two principals: on the one hand, the visitor is meant to continuously discover more details the closer he/she gets to the building. On the other hand, the 'sunrise' stone used on the facade is intended to convey an impression of the warmth and the colours of South Africa already at first sight.

The Interior: Open Spaces and Love of Details

mma architect's conception of the new South African architecture is characterised on the one hand by the forms and arrangement of different rooms, and on the other hand, by the use of decoration, with a great love of details. One main focus is the use of "courtyards", areas accessible for taking breaks and for interaction. The large atrium in the centre of the building stands for the South African "kraal" or "inkundla/le lapa",yet is intended to be reminiscent of Berlin's characteristic inner courtyards at the same time. The atrium is covered by a glass roof which reflects the "guqas'thandaze", the traditional dwelling of the der Nguni.

A detailed publication about the Embassy building is available in German and English at Stadtwandel Verlag.

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