Embassy of Czech republic in Ethiopia

Jakub Ficenec
CTU in Prague - Faculty of Civil Engineering
Czech Republic

Project idea

At the very beginning of this project I made a short summary of czech history and looked up an analysis of czech exports. For it appeard to me that the embassy should represent not only the culture as described by history but also, maybe more importantly, whatever it is that our country can offer to its political and trading partners.
It wasn’t hard to find that what Czech republic realy excels at is heavy industry and metallurgy. Tradition of which was largely built during the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When it was devided after the first world war the then Czechoslovakia inherited approximately two thirds of all the industry while containing only slightly more than a quarter of the empire‘s inhibitants.
And it’s mostly this fact that led to today‘s proportions of czech exports where far ahead of others are vehicles and their parts (cars, parts of turbojet engines, trains, railway rails, etc.), than there is a gap folowed by much smaller amounts of exported products of light industry, chemical industry and oils.
To symbolize the tradition of heavy industry I chose to use architectual concrete and corten steel as the two main materials.

In the north not far behind the city of Addis Ababa are the Entoto Mountains with its highest peak Mount Entoto overlooking the city. The mountain has a historical importance and several celebrated churches are located here.
To take advatage of this landmark I decided to orient views from the embassy (most importantly the representative sections) toward the mountain. That is also why most of the representative spaces are above the ground level, to see over the closest surrounding structures.

Project description

The site is placed roughly in the middle between two main roads both of which lead to a motorway in the north of the site. The best connections to these roads are located at the southern parts of the site. That is why I decided to locate the main entrance and exit in the south-west and south-east part of the site (as recomended), thus creating an arrival zone surrounded by the edge of the site and the embassy’s own structures. The structures and greenery enclose the whole zone insuring privacy and safety of the rest of the Embassy’s gardens. They also serve as a small park -an „outside waiting room“- for guests, their drivers etc..

In the far east part of the site is loceted ambasador’s residence in close aproximation to the exit gatehouse, which for the purposes of the ambasador can be used as an entrance aswell, thus providing more privacy if needed.
The residence takes an „L“ shape which hides its garden from sight for more privacy in dealing with confidential affairs.
Representative section of the residence is on the groundfloor, while abasador’s flat and guest room are on the top floor.

The official building is divided into two functional zones – reprezentative and office.
The main entrance is highlited by a cantilever which provides upper floor lounges with a balcony and protects the entrance from weather conditions. Entrance hall pierces the building from the arrival zone straight to the garden it reaches to the upper floor and is dominated by a concrete staircase which hints division into representative and official parts of the hall, with a launge (separable by mobila partitions) and a door into garden on one side and meeting rooms on the other. Representative dining room, assembly room and two other lounges are on the top floor. Reprezentative kitchen is on the far east of the whole building conviniently close to representative kitchen in the residence.
The Office part of the building has two floors. Office section A is on the top floor and the others are on the ground floor. The top floor does not take up the whole area of the ground floor its mas sis distanced from the arrival zone to furter highlight the entrance and create a gatelike element in the fence of structures.

Consular and visa bulding furthers the southern facade of the official building leaving a passage partly sheltered by the office section A. The building reaches western side of an inclosed perimeter. Where it opens onto a sidewalk leaving a wider space creating an entrance area protected from weather conditions. The bulding is divided into office section and public section.

Residential building is placed in the north-west part of the enclosed site. It is conviniently close to the office section of the official building and far from the residence. Togeather with the official building it creates almost fully enclosed yard intended for recreational purposes. There is greenery and a decorational pool in the yard.
The whole of the residential building stands on columns and recreational facilities are set underneath it. They are two 25 meter swim lanes and a gym, supplnemented by common changing rooms.

Building for local work force is set in the far west part of the site outside the enclosed perimeter. It is a two-storey building part of which shelters a parking lot. The building stands on the edge of its own fenced garden. South of the building there is a playground and a parking primerily for visitors of the consular and visa building.

Technical information

All of the buildings loadbearing structures are reinforced concrete (offical and residence-frame). The outside shading systems are fixed and are made out of corten steel plates - all with the exeption of the local workforce building where the shading system is wooden.


Ing. arch. Vojtěch Dvořák
Ing. arch. Pavel Filsak
(Jiří Mezera)

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