Since opening its doors some 90 years ago the British residence in Montevideo was long overdue for an upgrade, with interiors looking tired and neglected. Originally built in 1926 to a classic villa design, much of the furniture was from the Regency period, acquired in auctions at London in 1927. Works of art decorate the residence, most of which belong to the British Government art collection.
The residence plays host to official visitors from the UK together with Uruguayan political and wider society. It is a key resource for UK business in Uruguay too. So it was important to meet the expectations of local guests.
FCO Services’ interior design experts took into account the classic style of the house and provided a quintessentially British design with a contemporary twist to bring the residence into modern day standards. Their project plan incorporated delivering British design led furniture, fabrics and lighting where possible, using rich colours and textures throughout to sympathetically compliment the style and heritage of the existing building.
Preparation of the walls was needed before works could commence as the general condition was poor. Antique restoration was also carried out on several pieces of furniture, preserving history for years to come.
The project was successfully managed remotely from the UK with the help of the Corporate Services Team at Post, balancing British and local skilled trades people, working around the ambassador’s commitments. Input from FCO Services’ logistics and procurement teams helped the project to run smoothly and ensure the project was delivered on budget and within the 18 month timescale.
FCO Services lead interior designer said: ‘An emphasis on sourcing high quality products whilst providing value for money was paramount. The final result is a mix of classic and modern, which serves the needs of the mission in Montevideo’.
The professionalism of FCO Services’ planning and delivery was recognised by the British Ambassador to Uruguay, he commented: ‘The overall effect and impact of the work is really excellent. It has drawn exclusively positive feedback from a wide variety of customers: we receive over 2,000 visitors through the house a year’.
The project has delivered an attractive solution for the FCO to use as a platform for building their commercial relationship, and develop close ties with Uruguay.