Lilongwe’s impressive new parliament building was designed by a consortium of indigenous Malawian Architects (MNA Consortium) and initially constructed by Terrastone and Deco. The project was eventually completed by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Corporation (AFECC) after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malawi and the People’s Republic of China. The complex consists of a front-end security reception office at the gate, a mini-stadium complex abutting Greek or Roman-style colonnades and the main structure which houses the chamber and administrative offices. The most significant feature is its dome, the biggest in Malawi. According to those associated with its construction, the dome represents a calabash, a key aspect of Malawian culture. The chamber is a large theatre, occupying 1,256 square metres, with 282 fitted seats for members and an upper-floor gallery for visitors. The building was opened in 2010 and serves as the physical symbol of Malawi’s representative political institution.
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