MERKATO - COMPLEX MARKET INTERFACES
Drawings, plans, elevations
Addis Ababa known for being the home for the largest open air market in the continent due its sheer size covering approximately about 1.7 square kilometers. Merkato represents a unique urban phenomenon in the north-west of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city. Available literature on Merkato estimates that approximately two hundred thousand people both live and work in the area and another three hundred thousand commute there each day to either work or shop. On Saturdays and before holidays up to 1.5 million people use the area daily. It manifests a variety of scales and layers and presents a host of complex social and economic issues. The area is facing an extreme developmental pressures due to the governmental directives for redevelopment and densification. The current master plan dictates new vertical development standards and the widening of main traffic arteries. The influence of the new developments for densification of the market zones as a new inclusive huge business malls on the quality of commercial experience is evident in many dimensions. The existing essence of market complexity attained through an organic and horizontal movement within Merkato is being lost in the redevelopment process. Nonetheless, this research project attempts to restore the natural complexity of the area via a new multi-storey development concept.