Africa Hall

Project No. 6332

BE Collective has completed a developed design commission for the heritage preservation and additions to Africa Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The design recently went before the United Nations in New York and, after consideration, has been approved.

A landmark historic building, Africa Hall is the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It was designed by architect Arturo Mezzedimi and officially inaugurated by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1961.

Of key significance, Africa Hall was the setting for the adoption of the Organization of African Unity Charter, which laid the foundations for the present day African Union.

Now more than 50 years old, the building requires significant restoration and intervention.

BE Collective was approached to tender for the project following their delivery of the new Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa last year. The firm then assembled an international project team for Africa Hall, inviting renowned heritage architects Conrad Gargett to act as principal consultant.

Following a site visit to Africa Hall in March last year, BE Collective’s Managing Director John Tuxworth identified significant durability defects throughout the concrete structure. Based on this evidence, he compiled recommendations for a structural intervention that respects the building’s heritage and functionality, and also meets current international standards.

Having prior experience working in the region, as well as connections with local sub-consultants, BE Collective was able to deliver solutions based on its knowledge of local contractor experience and materials availability.

The heritage preservation and revitalisation of Africa Hall is one of those watershed moments, where you get to work on a building of significance, in an exotic location, with the best consultants and an inspirational client,” Mr Tuxworth explains.

BE Collective assembled the project team, won the project against the world’s best and now Brisbane consultants are on the United Nations panel of suppliers.

See Conrad Gargett’s news article here and wonderful animation of the preservation works here.

The Weekend Edition

See page 13 of the Village News, June 2015

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The Regatta – East Gheran, Libya


Project no. 5889

The Regatta site 10km West from the centre of Tripoli, Libya is to be redeveloped into a world class residential precinct as part of the regeneration of Tripoli City.  BE Collective are responsible for providing structural & civil services for the site. 
Part of the development included six office blocks, three to four stories high, with basement parking under. Each was designed to European best practice, requiring a wider column grid than is commonly used in Australia. 

Australian Embassy in Ethiopia


Project No. 6218

The BE Collective Team have provided due diligence advice to in procuring a chancery building in Addis Ababa for the Department of Foreign Affairs  and Trade (DFAT). Our role was to provide, and equip the building to be appropriate for a diplomatic posting. Our involvement included a one week site visit where two prospective buildings were examined with respect to their ability to comply with Australian codes, and the ease with which they could be upgraded to meet diplomatic security considerations. A comprehensive assessment of all engineering aspects of both buildings under consideration was presented to DFAT, which provided sufficient guidance for one building to be selected for detailed consideration. This has been followed up with an assessment of the works required to upgrade the building so that budget estimates could be developed.

In providing structural advice as to the seismic strengthening of the building, BE Collective were able to draw upon seismic strengthening methods used elsewhere in the world, and the likely sources of potential weakness based on the building and material construction.

Selection and nomination of appropriate building services equipment for the building has been done in careful consideration of the geographic location, the need to reduce whole of life costs, and the availability of replacement parts. This has been informed by our previous experience designing for overseas conditions.

In 2016 BE Collective’s efforts on the Australian Embassy in Ethiopia were awarded a High Commendation in the Small Business Ventures and Projects Category (pictured below hanging proudly in our Brisbane Head Office) at the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards. 


Belamar Towers, Talatona, Angola


Project No. 5926

An exciting high rise in a developing country. This project epitomises the BE Collective team’s ability to complete a multi-storey, cross-continent, cross-language product.
Our team provided structural engineering for these two 25-storey apartment towers located in Talatona, an emerging suburb 15km south from the capital, Luanda. The development comprises 468 apartments per tower, approximately 600 parking spaces, communal areas throughout several podium levels, including two swimming pools, a spa, and spa salons.
Floors were designed as unbonded post-tensioned flat plates, achieving longer spans with less weight, smaller columns and increased NLA. The post-tensioning strand layout was coordinated with integral horizontal services runs within the depth of the slab – in order to satisfy the client’s requirement for reduced floor to floor heights.