Since 2000, when the Flemish Government Architect established the ‘Open Oproep’, an instrument for awarding large public building projects in Flanders, it has been relatively easy for foreign offices to compete for commissions that are more difficult to obtain in their own countries. Participating in a competition, however, is one thing, winning it is another. The prevailing building culture creates a certain pattern of expectations against which entries are measured; in a design competition, the architecture needs to connect to this culture to meet these (typically implicit) expectations. In terms of these cultural resonances, Dirk Somers has referred to the ‘brown banana’, a metaphor for an architecture of mutual interest stretching from London, via Flanders, Germany, and Switzerland to part of northern Italy. This is an architecture linked by a certain continuity, defined by both invention and convention. This article takes a closer look at the northwestern part of Somers’s brown banana: Flanders and Great Britain. It examines the work of four contemporary British firms that have featured prominently in the final selection since the ‘Open Oproep’ began; namely, Sergison Bates, Tony Fretton, Maccreanor Lavington, and Witherford Watson Mann. On the basis of publications and lectures about and by these firms, a comparison is made between Flemish architecture and building culture, on one hand, as it has been described in recent years and the theoretical position of the four British firms, on the other. Key concepts in this study are collective memory, accumulation, continuity, style, phenomenology, teaching, and writing.