Michał Mydlarczyk, Monika Kulig, Karolina Kozłowska, Ida Mikulińska, Adam Lis
Cracow Technical University (Politechnika Krakowska), Kraków

Project idea

Designing an embassy is an unordinary task, which requires combining several, seemingly contradictory components. Due to its function, embassies lay where two cultures meet, often very distant ones. Such is the case of the Czech Embassy In Addis Abeba. Finding common ground is a part of the Ambassador’s Job, so it became part of ours while developing the concept.
High-security standards, variety of functions, demanding location and most of all implementing Czech culture into Ethiopian capital were the most challenging aspects of the project. To answer those needs we reach to the roots of European culture. The simplicity of the master plan refers to the traditional medieval urbanism. Its straight lines bring order and help organise the space. Locality, on the other hand, expresses In the detail, material and nature.

The most eye-catching feature of the embassy is the circular footbridge connecting four main buildings. Its architecture is meant to resemble the 1958 Czechoslovakian Expo Pavilion, the prime example of modern architecture. The circle at the same time strongly corresponds with Ethiopian cultures such as handcraft, jewellery or architecture. Therefore it became the link between cultures.

The pure, elegant and minimalistic architecture of the Embassy allows it to become a timeless business card for the Czech Nation In Ethiopia.

Project description

In order to organise the embassy complex as the most convenient and usable, we decided to separate the basic functions into several buildings surrounded by complementary spaces. Zoning plays a crucial role. Parts of the embassy were meant to be strongly connected, other more private and remote.

The whole complex is surrounded by high wall of bricks produced from waste in a local recycling plant. The plot of land splits into two parts. We planned an additional inner road providing an access to local workforce building and a private entry to the residential building.
The main entrance is located on the southern border of the plot. It leeds to the most representative part of the embassy, from where visitors can make their way further in. Next to the main entrance there is a controlled gate securing the vehicle entry. The road allows the visitors to get to the garages located in the official embassy building. There is a side entrance on the eastern border as well as an exit road for the vehicles. All entry points are controlled via security personnel.

Official embassy building, residence building, consular and visa department and apartment building for the embassy staff are located on the eastern part of the land. Above it hangs the most characteristic part of the design, a circular footbridge. It interconnects the buildings, crossing the third floor of the official embassy building, lying down on residential buildings.

Between official embassy building and an apartment building lies a representational garden which can be used as a resting place as well as a spot for official meetings and parties.
It is well known that a proper rest can increase work efficiency. Considering that we propose a green area for relax and recreation for embassy staff. A child playground, ball court and hammocks were installed creating a place to relax.
Another green zone was designed between the visa department and outer wall. This area ensures more privacy for example during official meetings.
Residence building has a private garden with a swimming pool.

The car park is located in the southern-east corner. There is also place for technical services.

Official embassy building

The Official part is a representative building with offices. The ground floor has been divided into two parts: the main entrance with a three-story hall and the technical zone with parking spaces. The second floor holds three separate office sections. The communication between sector A and remaining ones has been separated to increase the comfort of work. The most representative space with an assembly room for up to 150 people was located on the last floor with a view of the garden and main courtyard.

Residence building

Simple solid figure is divided for the representational and private part with the visible main entrance and a rear entrance for the technical appliances and to the kitchen.
The ground floor consists of the representational dining room, living room and cloakroom, hall and toilets for guest. There is also a garage, technical room, storage and kitchen.
The upper storey is a private space with a guest room. Household members have at their disposal 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, cabinet, private kitchen with dining room and living room. Living zone has access to a balcony.

Apartment building for embassy Staff

The Residential building of embassy Staff was designed as a two-storey building. Several apartment types vary in a term of size and function. On the ground floor, there are 6 apartments with the possibility of joining two of them into one apartment. The second floor has 4 separate apartments (also with the possibility of joining two of them) and two technical rooms. Each flat has its own balcony or terrace. Moreover, the building has flat roofs with a recreational function with green area and a swimming pool.

Consular and visa department

This single-story building on a square plan consists of offices and meetings room. Entrance through vestibule leads guest to an atrium with a glass roof. There is also reception, archive and sanitary. This building is open for everyone and because of that, there is no access to the inner part of the complex.

Local workforce building

The western part is dedicated to the local workforce. Those small apartments consist of living rooms, bathrooms and kitchenettes and are connected by a common section with laundry, dressing room and workshop. Each flat has access to a private terrace and a common garden and a recreational space.

Technical information


The main construction of all buildings is mede form reinforced concrete. To insulate is used animal-produced wool which is more effective than Styrofoam. This type of material is also environmentally-friendly. It is the most important to do insulations accurately to avoid thermal losses and overheating.
Special construction is used to build a footbridge. Combination of steel and concrete has enabled creating a large span between fulcrums. For that reason is possible to create a construction that shape and this size. Safety-glass is used to protect the openings of the bridge.
All doors used in official embassy building, consular and visa department and in residential buildings meet the S-Secret
Ethiopian capital city has only one landfill for 50 years which serves over 3 million people. The Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project is designed to supply Ethiopia’s capital with around 30 % of household power needs. It is said that waste-to-energy plant will generate three million bricks from waste ash, and 30 million litres of water will be recovered from the garbage. Inspired by this great idea we decided to insert “fly ash bricks” to our design concept and use it in the outer wall.
To minimize the cost of transport and reduce pollutions connect with it, we use local woods to finishing surfaces.


The project has been developed by a group of architecture students including: Monika Kulig, Karolina Kozłowska, Ida Mikulińska, Adam Lis, Michał Mydlarczyk

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