Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ethiopia -"BETWEEN COURTYARDS”

Ana Carolina Sarmiento , Victoria Infante
Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Tucumán

Project idea

As an inspiration, we have analyzed the Old Town Square in Prague with its streets that lead to it, visualizing the background from them.
Starting from that premise, our split idea is based on the design of different buildings that may have their own (individual) overflows but at the same time create a large articulating protocolary courtyard in the center that allows to develop different activities. This is why the name "between courtyards".

Project description

The project was designed with two computer axes (one in an east-west direction) and another in a north-south direction. It is structured with two walls that accompany the axis in all its sense and its levels.
The project has 3 accesses: access in the east sector for the public and visits, access in the private sector for the staff, the embassy and private access for the ambassador and his guests, also in the western sector.
The public access communicates the public space with the consulate building, through a plaza created as an overflow to rank the entrance of the consulate.
At this point we can do two things:
1. On the left we have access for the visits that go to the official building of the embassy for meetings.
2. We have access to the consulate building that has a security system in the entrance, such as being a metal detector, among others.
Upon entering the consulate building we have a double height hall that allows us to hierarchize that access and from there we can go to the different offices of the consulate and corresponding windows on the ground floor.
The top floor of the consulate building belongs to the official building of the embassy that is linked by a footbridge. (a person who is on the ground floor of the consulate building can not access the upper floor since that sector belongs to the official building).
Once we are in the parking lot of the official building we have two options:
1. Enter the official building of the embassy, ​​where we can find in the entrances a double height hall with the circulation center and a living room for waiting, there are different activities such as: offices of the different sectors (A, B, C, and D), auditorium (descent 1.5m above the level of the path generating at its lowest point a height of 4.5m), representative spaces (dining room and living room) meeting room, classroom, toilets, etc. .
2. Access to the central courtyard.
In the central patio we can find steps that go down to two less below the level of the path where there are mirrors of water with strips of vegetation, there are different activities, such as: ceremonial events, festivities, cultural activities, among others.
The official building of the embassy is connected to the staff housing sector, where at the lowest level are the post offices and by means of some stairs going up to the level of 1m above the level of the path we can find the homes of the staff and the overflow sector (pools, tukul, quincho, place to develop recreational activities).
The houses (6) are divided into 3 types arranged in the form of "L", placing 3 in the north-south direction and 3 in the east-west direction. Each house has an individual overflow delimited with a wooden enclosure.
The ambassador's home has private access for him, his family and his guests. The house is structured in two parts:
1. In the west part of the wall is the protocolary sector for guests, with a double-height sector where the living room, dining room, kitchen and toilets are located.
2. On the east side of the wall there is the private sector of the family where from the entrance there is the living and dining room that overflows to a garden with a pool; on the ground floor, the inviting bedrooms are located, and on the upper floor, the ambassador bedrooms, family and office.
The houses of the local labor force are located outside the embassy premises, divided by a street that cuts the land from North to South.

Technical information

First, the walls that accompany the project (east-west, north-south) are made of stone-concrete.
The consulate building is designed with concrete, the access is made of glass with a double wooden skin that reaches 5 m (total height of 6 m).
In the sector of the consulate offices:
1. On the ground floor, the wall reaches 1.80 m and a strip of 1 m of glass.
2. On the upper floor, it is completely glazed and has passages of metal slats that are suspended from the concrete deck.
The bathroom sector is a wall full from start to finish.
The official building of the emabajada is designed with concrete and is divided into several parts:
1. Access from the official parking: Glass entrance hall moored to concrete columns with a double wooden skin that reaches 5m leaving 1m of glass in sight.
2. In the office sector on the ground floor the wall reaches 1.80m and a strip of 1m and on the upper floor is all glazed with umbrellas that suspend from the concrete deck.
3. The sector of access from the homes of the staff and auditorium, is designed with glass up to 6m and with a wooden skin that reaches 5m.
4. The catwalk sector: the structure is made of concrete with glass that is located from floor to ceiling and a wooden skin that reaches up to 2m.
The staff housing sector is divided into the following stages:
1. Email Sections: Located at level 0.00 made of concrete.
2. Staff dwellings: Made with concrete, on the ground floor the access is made of glass and on the upper level glass with parasols suspended from the ceiling.
3. The barbecue is made with concrete and glass.
The ambassador's house is articulated by the large wall that follows the line of the wall that crosses the land, in the protocolary sector, the structure is made of concrete with large glass cloths and metal sunshades, the dining and bathroom sector is made with a full wall.
The private sector of housing: on the ground floor: the sector that overflows to the pool is made of glass, the inviting rooms have a wooden skin, and on the upper floor the sector that overflows to the patio is made of glass and the rooms of concrete wall
The sector of the houses of the local work force are made with concrete, wooden access gate, high glass with parasols suspended from the ceiling.

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