Local BE Collective designs United Nations’ Africa Hall refurbishment
Brisbane-based engineering consultancy BE Collective has recently completed a design commission for the preservation of one of Africa’s most important heritage-listed buildings, the Africa Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Africa Hall is more than 50 years old, and houses the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The building was the setting for the adoption of the Organisation of African Unity Charter, which was the foundation of the present-day African Union. BE Collective was approached to tender for the Africa Hall project after having delivered the new Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa in 2014. The consultancy’s design commission details the heritage preservation and additions to the hall, and was recently approved by the United Nations in New York, winning the project over some of the world’s best design teams. As a result, the Brisbane project team are on the United Nations panel of suppliers.
BE Collective’s managing director John Tuxworth visited the Africa Hall site last year, identifying significant durability defects throughout the building. An international project team was assembled specifically for the project, bringing in heritage architects Conrad Gargett as principal consultant. Due to prior experience from working in the region, BE Collective was able to present solutions based on its knowledge of local contractors and availability of materials, whilst still maintaining the building’s heritage and functionality. BE Collective expects to hear if the team has been successful in being commissioned for the construction phase in July.