Czech Republic in Addis Ababa

Asmaa Mohamed Ali
The German University in Cairo

Idea projektu

The design deals with the new Czech embassy in Addis Ababa. The idea of the project is to project a positive, welcoming image of Czech in the host city but in a more subtle way; through the architecture of the buildings, in the clean and pure geometric forms with the colonnades to reflect Czech openness and democracy. Also, the void on the main/south façade is a symbolic gesture for transparency. Further, the complex reflects the environment and the context conditions while representing its origin and meeting the program and functional requirements.

Popis projektu

The site is divided with a 7-meters alley extended from the southern axe where mainly the official functions are on the eastern side while the residential functions are on the western side. On the eastern side, masses of the consular department, representative and official embassy overlap creating a void in between which could be used as an open exhibition with partitions for Czech’s heritage in case of events/ festivals held for diplomats, also the void could be an informal gathering area for staff for communicating.
Entrance to the official embassy is elevated and emphasized with columns highlighting the path and creating a buffer to the consular/ visa department. Access to the embassy, representative part and visa section are all designed with barrier free solution. The representative part of the embassy is situated on the ground floor with the long building form expanding views to the representative garden.
Offices sections A,B ,C & D are situated on the upper floor with common area and facilities and an atrium overlooking the entrance hall.
The Ambassador’s residence has its representative spaces in way that allows for connection to the representative garden of the official embassy.
On the western side of the plot lies the staff residence divided on two masses, one building is for the 4+1 and 3+1 apartments and the other building is for the 2+1 apartments and the courier accommodation. With all apartments on the ground floor, a garden access for each apartment with common recreational area is provided with the wide roof overhangs and columns creating a shaded terrace for each apartment.

Technické informace

The design uses a skeleton system with RC slabs and columns. Facades seek to stretch vertically to embrace the longitudinal forms. Material used is natural stone cladding which is locally produced and present in abundance in Ethiopia.
Low sloped roofs with overhangs are used in the complex, adapting to the local climate by providing shade and protection from drain season. Furthermore, roof overhangs extend more in the southern facades for complete shading in summer while admitting sunlight in winter for passively heating the buildings.

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