The Wall. Embassy of the Czech Republic

Doha El Missiri
The German University in Cairo

Idea projektu

After going through the listed requirements for an embassy, the first thing that caught my attention was how the fence and the security measures were a priority. I decided to consider this as a starting point on my research to simply understand the meaning and if there is any different types of a fence. The explanation and literal definition of one as simply put. A Fence is a wall that acts as a barrier. The definition brought me to an even more intriguing question. What is a wall?

According to Oxford Dictionary, a wall is defined as “A continuous vertical brick or stone structure that encloses or divides an area of land. An upright side of a building or room. A wall is, any high vertical surface, especially one that is imposing in scale.” In other words, it is regarded as an obstacle, fence, façade, structural element or in an urban context a building can be defined as a wall. In addition to that, it can hold an identity or as a cultural reference.

This description reminded me instantly of the "John Lennon Wall" as known to the most of us or the "Crying Wall" for others. Furthermore and after more researching, I found out it holds more meaning and significance than brick and mortar. it represents resistance, passion and compassion, in addition to identity.
Therefore, my design method was to create a quality out of an obstacle, the fence.

Popis projektu

The most challenging part was how to be able to integrate the fence to enhance the complex, rather than restricting it. I first started with offsetting the fence 10 meters parallel to the site borders so this would be the facade of the most public building which is the Councilor, with small openings to distract the visual connection between the outdoors and the more private offices inside. For the Main Embassy, I decided to add a dramatic solid 2 story high wall cutting through the front of the embassy emphasizing the entrance parallel to the site boundaries, with another interior wall, disturbing the symmetry of the plan to present Czech Republic post the velvet revolution. The Third dominating wall goes through the site in the horizontally, simultaneously dividing the plot into two, with the upper part for the residential buildings. I wanted this wall to be more transparent so I used the trees and the columns as a definition for a fence, but a more flexible approach.

I decided to separate the representative lounges and the assembly hall in a stand alone building, yet with a connection with the chancellery and the representative spaces required on the ground floor level of the ambassadors residency. First i created a patio between the chancellery and the representative building as a meeting point with a water basin that give a passive architecture effect. Secondly, I decided to extend the roof of the representative building over the middle fence until it reaches the more public part of the residency's building.

Furthermore, the design for the housing for the local staff, after reading more about the culture of Ethiopia, I designed the modules with the kitchen at the very beginning of the floor plan with a removable as the Ethiopian dishes require an open fire to prepare. For the Staff housing I wanted to make the modules with a standard width in order to make the plans more flexibility to any changes and I proposed different arrangements that might allow a vertical extension in the future.

The Landscape design is very minimal, as to try and respect the already existing greenery at the site with just some water bodies to duplicate the rivers found in both countries respectively.

Technické informace

Facade section show the materials and technique used in the facade to provide both light and ventilation without breaking the level of security.

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