Beehive Administration Building

Chilomoni, Blantyre
“A well-articulated structure designed with simplicity. The building is the foundation of the campus, from where Engineers, Architects, Accountants and others generate their ideas.”
(Henry Gama, Beehive Finance Employee)
Location
Beehive Main Campus, Chilomoni, Blantyre, Malawi
Type
Offices
Year of Construction
2011 – 2012
Design Architect
Noella Chikuse
Project Architect
Martin McColl
Project Engineer
Hendrix Mgawana
Total Development Area (Approx. GEA)
238m²
Number of Storeys
2
Construction Cost
49,810,262 MWK
(£51,830 GBP – rate correct as of 21st September 2020)
Cost per m²
209,286 MWK/m²
(£218 GBP/m²)

The Beehive Administration Building is situated at the heart of the Beehive Main Campus, in Chilomoni, Blantyre. Following the opening of other buildings on the Main Campus, such as the Mother Teresa Children’s Centre and the John Paul II IT Institute, and with Krizevac’s ambition to continue constructing buildings, the need for a centrally-located administrative hub for the accounts and design teams arose.

The brief stated that the building should be simple, functional and flexible, in case one day the building’s function were to change. The two-storey building has therefore been laid out with two large, open-plan office spaces per floor, at the end of a central circulation corridor; these can be used for a wide range of functions, but currently house the Construction Design Office on the ground floor, and the Finance Office on the first floor. There is room to comfortably accommodate 8 people per office. Along the corridors are a series of smaller, enclosed office spaces, which are able to accommodate between 1 to 3 people. On the ground floor, there is an open-plan entrance space with lots of glazing, to create a welcome and open atmosphere, and directly adjacent to this is a Board Room, used for meetings by both staff and visitors.

The Administration Building is constructed from Beehive’s site-made Hydraform blocks, formed from local soil; these blocks are used in a load-bearing capacity, removing the need for any reinforced concrete framing. The building was therefore very economical and quick to complete. The blocks are exposed externally, with render only at floor-slab level, again, meaning that initial construction and on-going maintenance costs are low. The rectangular windows are repeated around the building, and all are openable, allowing a good level of passive internal temperature control. The large open-plan office spaces have evenly-spaced windows along three facades, allowing decent levels of natural lighting throughout the year.