Weaving Publicness

Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Southwest front view of the design, showing the local trachyte stone façade combined with a contemporary architecture ready for global economy. The façade is woven like a thread of Ethiopian “Netela” textile, and regulates ventilation, sunlight and view, as the “Netela” scarf does. Window openings in the façade are only visible from north-west to south-east angles, according to pleasant sunlight directions.

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    Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East ceremony, Beirut, Lebanon

    Presentation of the Acknowledgement prize for “Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia” (l-r): Amer Moustafa, Member of the Holcim Awards jury 2014 Africa Middle East and Associate Dean, School of Architecture and Design American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; winners Wes Degreef, BC architects, Brussels, Belgium; Adeyabeba Tadesse Hailemariam, ABBA architects, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Ken De Cooman, BC architects, Brussels, Belgium; with Javier de Benito, Area Manager of Holcim for Africa Middle East.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Inspired by podium and tower: the podium slopes down toward the surrounding urban space, and creates three urban square typologies. The inner circulation of the building is conceived as a street, which circles out to the sequence of urban squares, generating a “public-ness” in its circulation so typical for Ethiopian streets. At the same time, access is conceived in such a way that multi-tenant scenarios are easily implementable.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    South elevation perspective detail: Accessibility for disabled persons via the ramp.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    West elevation with urban square and lowered podium: The wide window looks down onto polyvalent space.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    South-North section with polyvalent and flexible event space at ground level. Above: semi-public split levels.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    The façade filters sunlight. Sometimes, circulation is organized between office spaces and façade.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Perspective of the façade filter.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Reception looking down into polyvalent space.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Southwest side allows for 27% of sunlight, south side 38%, and Southeast side 47%.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Terrace view.

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    Project entry 2014 Africa Middle East - Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Wes Degreef, Adeyabeba Tadesse Hailemariam, Ken De Cooman

  • Awards Acknowledgement prize 2014–2015 Middle East Africa

The winning entry of the architectural design competition for the headquarters of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) in Ethiopia aims to contribute to the spatial improvement of the urban environment, and to create an architectural dialog engaged in a global context with a strong local identity. It does so by integrating public spaces at ground level, continuing the “busy-ness” of the street within the building. A façade made of “woven” locally-quarried trachyte stone – reminiscent of Ethiopian stone architecture and ancient textile techniques – regulates ventilation as well as sunlight.

By Wes Degreef, Ken De Cooman - BC architects & studies, Brussels, BelgiumAdeyabeba Tadesse Hailemariam, - ABBA architects, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ideas: Economic & Social Empowerment

The Chamber of Commerce headquarters aims to contribute to the spatial improvement of the urban environment, and to create an architectural dialog engaged in a global context with a strong local identity.

Public spaces at ground level are integrated into the building. The façade made of “woven” locally-quarried trachyte stone reminiscent of Ethiopian stone architecture regulates ventilation and ancient textile techniques as well as sunlight.

Weaving Publicness

Project authors

  • LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 for Europe prize handover ceremony, Marseille
    Wes Degreef

    BC architects & studies

    Belgium

  • Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East ceremony, Beirut, Lebanon
    Adeyabeba Tadesse Hailemariam

    ABBA architects

    Ethiopia

  • LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 for Europe prize handover ceremony, Marseille
    Ken De Cooman

    BC architects & studies

    Belgium

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