A short poetic depiction of craftsmanship that holds hands with architecture and lends a direct link to the humanity of the buildings we occupy. Narrated by Mozambican architect, José Forjaz at age 83. The wisdom behind his words becomes a thought-provoking call to action for our era.
Filmed primarily within the clean architectural lines of The Netherlands Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique along with various building sites & workshops around this eccentric city. The contrast and similarities between these worlds are bridged when the textures and sounds underscore a beautifully crafted black & white film.
Benitha Vlok SA
Award-winning documentary director, conceptual camerawoman and cutting-edge editor, Benitha Vlok has an eye that travels, captures and explores.
Since her graduation as a filmmaker in 2005, she has challenged, chased and created a multitude of layered visual content in collaboration with universally celebrated artists, filmmakers and musicians.
Constant and continuously gathering exceptional collective and individual stories, her body of work is extensive and expanding. A testament to that is her most recent collaboration with KAAN Architecten.
The architectural project
Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique 2004
The Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique is located close to the ocean and just outside the centre of the country’s capital, Maputo. The building has been pushed to the edge of a gently sloping, orthogonal site so as to leave room for a walled garden. The embassy faces south, allowing light in but not heat, as climate considerations played a large part in the design.
The building is a rough concrete monolith, with filigree detailing, from which a section is extracted to create an opening and space for the courtyard. Steel columns support the veranda – an element borrowed from the local Portuguese colonial architecture – and the line of columns continue to wrap around an inner garden where wooden slats complete the enclosure. Twelve ornate trees enliven the garden and break the sunlight. The embassy has a rectangular volume with offices on the garden side, facilities in a central zone, and a two-storey circulation zone along the southern wall.