South African Embassy - Berlin


The South African Embassy in Berlin, Germany, was the first major commission by the new South African Government in a foreign country to be awarded to a black owned architectural firm. Being the first embassy to be built in 30 years, the design intention was to express the affirmation of the diversity of South Africa through the selection of five design elements: decorative stone; carved plaster; forged metal; basket weave and carved wood, with materials mainly sourced from South Africa.

The result was an award-winning design presenting an effective African administration in the embassy district of the historic City of Berlin, representing a democratic & transparent South Africa. At the time Director, Luyanda Mpahlwa, was a Berlin based coordinating project Architect and partner at MMA Architects.


Interior Design:

The Interiors of the South African Embassy in Berlin represented an opportunity to showcase a diverse and rich African aesthetic through the finishes and installations throughout the building.  A selection of iconic African motifs and patterns were adapted to blend seamlessly with the contemporary sophistication and simplicity of the buildings architecture.

While the wall treatments and iconography are distinctly African they highlight the relevance of these age old aesthetic traditions and their application in contemporary design.



CLIENT: Department Of Public Works / Department Of Foreign Affairs, Govt Of South Africa
COMPLETION: September 2003
ADDRESS: Tiergartenstrasse, Berlin, Germany
ASSOCIATES:  MMA Architects ( Lead Architects and Principal Agent ) in association with: Braun Schockermann & Partner, Berlin Office (Architect Of Record)