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Projects >  Zambia

Overview

In 1970 I was offered a job with a small architectural practice in Zambia.  Having worked for a variety of architectural practices throughout my time as a student I knew that the experience that I would obtain in Zambia would be much more extensive than anything that I would get in UK as a junior architect and I therefore accepted the position.

Having joined the practice in Lusaka the immediate task was to complete the designs, prepare full sets of working drawings and supervise the construction of three large, secondary boarding schools located in the rural areas of the country, two of them a long way from Lusaka where the practice was based.   

Other projects included the design of a new administration building for the University of Zambia (which was not built because of funding problems); the design and construction of the University Village for the University of Zambia and several housing developments including the Bwinjinfumu Housing Development.

Coming from UK with no previous experience of working in Africa it was necessary to learn a lot very quickly about designing and building low-cost, appropriate buildings in developing countries.  Fortunately the two partners in the practice had a lot of relevant experience and proved to be excellent mentors.  The contractors for the three secondary school were also very experienced and helpful to a young, inexperienced architect and a lot was learned from them.  This practical experience and the lessons learned have stood me in good stead for the rest of my career and have proved relevant to the work carried out on later projects in a variety of developing countries. 

After working on these projects for six years, the Zambian economy collapsed (due to the drop in the price of copper after the war in Vietnam ended) together with the construction industry and I moved on to a job in Sierra Leone.

Projects in Zambia
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