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Inspireli Announces Winning Designs for Czech Embassy in Ethiopia

Inspireli Announces Winning Designs for Czech Embassy in Ethiopia

The Inspireli Awards have announced the winners of the student competition for the Czech Embassy in Addis Ababa. The fourth year of the competition offered students a unique opportunity to design in Ethiopia. This special competition category was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Faculty of Civil Engineering CTU in Prague, Department of Architecture.

The Inspireli Awards have announced the winners of the student competition for the Czech Embassy in Addis Ababa. The fourth year of the competition offered students a unique opportunity to design in Ethiopia. This special competition category was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Faculty of Civil Engineering CTU in Prague, Department of Architecture.

"Main idea for the design of embassy was promotion of wall as security element to something more. We did not think about it as a barriere and neccesary evil, but a tool for creating different types of space. This pricipe re-fused to a grid, supported by alleys of trees and water areas. In the sense of sustainabilityy we used local materials, shading techniques and passive ventilation in the form typical fo Africa, "windcatcher", in other words aa chimney catching wind and distributing it to various areas of building. Also we designed small product gardens for everybody to be a little bit closer to sustaining ourselves."

"It is greatly challenging to exhibit the particle of one culture to another. Main thought of the Embassy in Addis Abeba finds its inspiration in architecture we have discovered during our tour in Czech Republic while respecting the adjacent urban context. The design takes it source form the best modern architecture left by one of the most famous architect of our time – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Moreover, one of the ispirations was the national symbol of Czech Rebuplic – leaf of linden."

"The idea of the design was to take up the structures of the environment and let them flow into the design. Due to the climate with lots of sun and rain I quickly came to the conclusion that it is difficult to move, dry and in the shade between the buildings. So I put a roof over the structure. In order to keep the monolithic structure of the buildings, a joint was made around the building. At the entrances to the individual cubes, the distance is only 20 cm in order to get as dry as possible into the buildings. On the other sides the distance is 1 m. This distance is necessary to get as much light as possible into the lower floor. Due to the support position of the roof, which is arranged on a 5 m x 5 m grid, high ventilation of the building is possible. Inner courtyards with water areas and trees cool the terrain. The roof is presented in the same grid outside the buildings with trees. This creates a flowing transition between the building roof and nature."

"Ethiopia and especially Addis Ababa are places of great change. Rapid urbanisation makes Addis Ababa one of the fastest growing cities on the planet, tenfolding its population since 1950. But at the same time building materials are scarce, almost everything from concrete to steel has to be imported. Ethiopia’s forests have been cut down by around 70% in the last century and people are desperately trying to save the remains. All these factors make construction by standard western means – e.g. reinforced concrete structures with chemical insulation - unsuitable, expensive and ecologically problematic. But still, almost all of the current building projects in Addis Ababa are build in that way. The potential architectural answer to these problems is deeply rooted in Ethiopian culture and far from innovative: earth."

The submitted designs were evaluated by architects from around the world and representatives of the competition organizer - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Twenty-five works went to the second round of the competition in the category of the Czech Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They are students from three continents, 17 universities and 12 nationalities. The INSPIRELI AWARDS competition was founded in 2015 by designer prof. Bořek Šípek together with Karel Smejkal from the Faculty of Civil Engineering CTU. The chairman of the competition committee is prof. Otto Dvořák, architect, theorist, graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, USA. The work is evaluated by experts from world-renowned architects as anonymous, which ensures the objectivity of the competition.

 

Source: arch daily