Embassy in Ethiopia

Bc. Orosz Ádám
University of Pécs, Pollack Mihály Faculty of Technology, Pécs, Hungary

Project idea

The basic subject of the project is the design of an Embassy Complex, serving as a place for diplomatic meetings and administrative work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The location of the site is situated near the centrum of the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The design of the embassy aims to create a safe and elegant place for official diplomatic meetings and international conferences, as the same time to ensure a safe way of administrative work and safe and comfortable way of living.

Project description

The design of the embassy aims to create a safe and elegant place for official diplomatic meetings and international conferences, as the same time to ensure a safe way of administrative work and safe and comfortable way of living. With my design of the building I wanted to express the international strength of the Czech Republic and the professional and secure work inside the building. On the other hand, I wanted to create a welcoming and elegant space for guests, business partners and residents of the area. My very inspiration for the work was the colorful culture, traditions, architecture and the natural wonders of the country.
The first thing I looked for was the available materials in the country. During my search I met some major problems in the civil engineering of the country. Although Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, the government in the last decades spent a lot of money to supple huge projects to be built, mainly in the capital city. Most of these buildings has been built from materials the country does not have and has to buy for a lot of money. These materials are steel and glass. Ethiopia does not have any steel, does not have industry for making glass, and the logging of woods of the country is getting so big, it risks the nature of the country. I was sure I wanted to avoid these materials if it is possible.
Next thing I found was, what the country has – red clay. Red clay is a really beautiful material and it is also strong to use as a load bearing building material for buildings with lower heights. I felt I find the perfect material for my building.

The main idea of the design was to put all the main functions – administrative, residential, representation – to one central “monoblock”. The long and tall monoblock shows strength and power. By the dividing the functions in the monoblock and pushing them into the sides I created a safe and elegant enclosed place between the wings. In the center of the object and the site is water – the basic of the life. The stretched water surface not only looking cool and elegant, and influence the mood of people in positive ways, it also has important effects in the cooling of the buildings. The water in the middle of the square cools and humify the air.
The openings in the main assembly hall should be closeable in the case of raining.
On the roof above the representation part of the building there is a walkable roof for representation purposes. It is a perfect place for dinners or walks. The tables on the roof are shaded using big white textile canopies. On the roof I used sunshades also in the form of spatial metal frames with wooden sunshades. On the frames there should be green plants hanging down. On the roof I would use movable planting in pots and benches.

In my design the Ethiopian culture plays a big role. I studied their culture and used some of the motives in my work. For example, the coulisse walls I covered some parts of the building, used as a sunshade has a motive brought from the culture of Ethiopian people.

Technical information

The red clay can be used to build load bearing walls, if it is strengthened with 5% of cement by the making process. All the buildings have load bearing wall system, except the administrative part of the main building. Under the administrative wing is the underground garage with 10 parking lots. Into the basement under the administrative wing people can go trough the stairwell with elevetor accessible from the entrance hall. With this stairwell their go to the second floor of the administrative wing too. From stairwell there is an emergency exit to the central square.

The vapor in the pool could be used for the cooling of the interior of the buildings. The water from the pool can flow under it, vaporizing the air under the pool in underground corridors. The cool air could be transported through the corridors under the buildings into the building through pipes. The humid air would cool the interior of the buildings, while the hot air will leave through the openings and atriums in the buildings.

For the exterior walls of residential and apartment buildings I would recommend an effective technology called Phase Change Material. During the hot days the PCM ensure perfect thermal insulation against the heat, while during the cold nights it helps to heat the interior spaces by emmision the heat gathered during the sunny day.

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