High Commission of Samoa

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or their High Commission building in Canberra, Australia the Samoan Government briefed Cox Architecture to create an architectural interpretation of Samoa ‘looking forward,’ while drawing inspiration from their rich cultural heritage.

Canberra is home to nearly 80 embassies and high commissions.

Most are in the suburb of Yarralumla.

The Cox design philosophy was based on a recognition of traditional Samoan ‘Fale’ structures and the important role they play in the day-to-day communal activities at all levels of Samoan society.

The Fale structures are built in either circular or rectangular plan form and utilise arched timber roof structures, thatching, and heavy timber columns.

The Fale is an important open meeting place while more private family activities are held in separate, simpler enclosures.

The design emphasis is focused on the publicly accessible main foyer and associated external garden areas.

In 2018, Cox Architecture received a Commendation in Public Architecture from the Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter for the High Commission of Samoa building in Canberra.

Project Details

Completion date – 2017
Building levels – 2

Project Team


Cox Architecture

COX is a design-focused contemporary architectural practice with studios located in every major Australian city and a history spanning 60 years. Key to their ethos is supporting the public life of our cities. Cox does this by ensuring each project makes positive contributions to its public realm – giving more than it takes.



Ben Wrigley

Ben Wrigley is an architectural photographer, creating images of the built landscape for Australian architects and builders.


Photo Gallery

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Design © 2020 Cox Architecture. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2020 Ben Wrigley. All Rights Reserved.

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