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Midcentury House Transformed Into Concrete Swiss Embassy in Ivory Coast

Good-looking bureaucracy

While we've seen midcentury houses given back their luster, gutted and revamped to better suit contemporary stylistic and technological whims, and restored in all sorts of ways, we've yet to see one become an official place of government business.

Enter the Swiss Embassy for the Ivory Coast, in the country's capital of Abidjan. Formerly the residence of the Norwegian ambassador to the small west African nation, the low-lying 1960s house received a stellar revamp and new addition courtesy of Lausanne-based firm Local Architecture.

While the original home has been turned into offices, Local Architecture added a long, low concrete annex to the house and it's here that paperwork is processed and other administrative duties are carried out. But fret not! Though bureaucracy and red tape surely abound here, so does the simple, clean-lined spirit of midcentury design: There's the handsome, rugged concrete, of course, but also a waiting room dotted with colorful, minimalist chairs against a backdrop of Ivorian wood wall panels.