Botswana Embassy and Diplomats' Apartment
Sileshi Consult, Consulting Architects & Engineers Pvt Ltd.Co - Ethiopia
Drawings, plans, elevations
The project site has a plot area of 3600 m2 located around Bisrate Gebriel area in Addis Ababa. It is rectangle in configuration with its longer side facing the main road. It is adjoined by other plots on three sides with a sole access from the main road on the South-West side. It has a general resultant slope of ~2m from the street side (South- West) to the other corner (North-East). In addition, it is surrounded by relatively high rise buildings. Hence, an introverted building concept is applied, to address the issue of security without compromising functionality. The spaces benefit from interior voids and courtyard views and also have a controlled visual connection to the outside. Various subtractions of the general mass help utilize natural lighting and ventilation. Zoning of the three basic functions is done considering access, public private segregation, and surrounding buildings. The Chancery is located in front, while Auditorium is located to the left with ample greenery underneath and around. The Diplomats’ Apartment, is strategically located to the back side where there is a minimal visual connection from neighboring plot. It also has a private drop-off point and parking. Vegetation and varying levels and access points are used to create the desired privacy between various functions. Drawing from vernacular architecture and traditional decorated huts of Teswana people, the design seeks to blend domestic spaces and cultural identities with modern design, materials and aesthetics. Hence, creating a building which showcases the traditional art and crafts of the country with a refined contemporary interpretation besides enhancing vernacular space conceptions. Essentially the building is comprised of three elements; an Auditorium, a Chancery and a Diplomats Apartment. A transformed courtyard is also incorporated to create a conducive micro climate, create a scenery and serve as a buffer. Inspired by the basket weaving patterns of Botswana the exterior facade adopts a slightly staggered form which makes use of two materials (solid and translucent concrete) where windows are embedded within where necessary. Moreover, a monochromatic gradient of dominantly used colors are applied to enhance and articulate the effect.