archiGraphy's blog

architectural studies

2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Dutch Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Posted by archigraphy on September 21, 2009

Design: Dick van Gameren and Bjarne Mastenbroek
Commission: 1998
Completion: 2002-2005
Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, the Netherlands
Contractor: Elmi Olindo & CO. PLC., Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Structural engineer: Ove Arup & Partners, London
Assistants: Lada Hrsak, Mike Davis, Matteo Fosso, Willmar Groenendijk, Jack Hoogeboom, Sebastiaan Kaal, Miguel Loos, Jeroen van Mechelen, Holger Muhrmann

Site Area: 55000 sq. mt.
Built-up Area: 3300 sq. mt. (gross surface area chancellery and apartments)
Cost of Construction: Cost USD 7332000

Photography: Christian Richters

Dutch Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dutch Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The site of the Dutch embassy on the outskirts of Addis Ababa consists of five hectares of eucalyptus woods, dropping steeply into a valley. The historic villa on the edge of the site has been expanded, while the embassy and residence of the ambassador, three homes for staff members and the entrance are new.

Chancellery Entrance

Chancellery Entrance

The gatehouse, camouflaged in colours of the Dutch flag, peers over the wall on the street side. The extension of a historic villa is situated beneath the existing house, which seems to float above the garden. Three staff residences are placed like terraces in the landscape, providing an unobstructed view to all residents.

Chancellery

Chancellery

The embassy with ambassador’s residence is situated in the site’s centre in a long, horizontal volume, seemingly carved out of the landscape like a traditional Ethiopian rock church. The outside walls are made of rough concrete in the same colour as the surrounding red earth.

Entrance to the Residence

Entrance to the Residence

The landscape intersects the volume on the borderline of the two functions. Here the road passes over the building, before dropping to the covered visitors entrance of the residence. The roof as a shallow pond references the Netherlands in the uneven Ethiopian landscape.

Salon Residence

Salon Residence

The embassy is simple in structure, with offices on either side of a central corridor. This corridor rises with the gradient of the site. The entrance is situated at the lowest point of the corridor, at the end. There is enough space here for an intermediate level, where the ambassador’s office is situated. It is connected via a stairway to the rooftop path leading to the residence.

Reception

Reception

The residence has two storeys. The upper floor contains the formal reception rooms, while the lower one contains the private rooms. Light shafts and patios link the areas inside and outside the building. As a result of the difference in gradient of the site, both floors are at ground level, so that they can be used entirely independently of one another. Three concealed stairways – one for the ambassador, one for his family, and one for staff – form the internal routes between the floors.

Roof Landcape

Roof Landcape

Source: http://www.dickvangameren.com/showProject.php?id=9814&lg=en

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