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Embassy Ethiopia / Bjarne Mastenbroek and Dick Van Gameren

  • Architects: Bjarne Mastenbroek and Dick Van Gameren
  • Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Assistants: Lada Hrsak, Wilmar Groenendijk, Jack Hoogeboom, Jeroen van Mechelen, Matteo Fosso, Miguel Loos, Michael Davis
  • Client: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Project Year: 2005
  • Photographs: Christian Richters

© Christian Richters © Christian Richters © Christian Richters © Christian Richters

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

From the architect. The compound of the Dutch Embassy consists of a five-hectare wooded area that slopes steeply towards the city. The design task was to situate the five individual buildings in the compound while retaining and enhancing the quality of the site's landscape. The strict horizontal volume of the main building cuts into the hill with the sloping terrain naturally dividing the building into two programmatic units; the ambassador’s residence and the chancellery.

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

The Embassy roof is a shallow pool, an element that combines Dutch tradition in water management and landscape technology, with the natural craggy countryside of Ethiopia. As in the Netherlands everyone lives and works under water. The building is visible at both ends and as the landscape slopes gradually upwards it disappears temporarily, transforming into a pool among the eucalyptus trees.

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

The other elements of the programme are articulated in a similarly ‘camouflaged’ way; the gatehouse peeks above the entrance wall, wrapped in the colours of the Dutch flag, the extension to the house of the deputy ambassador is slid underneath an existing villa and the three staff houses are built between the north double-wall of the compound.

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Embassy Ethiopia / Bjarne Mastenbroek and Dick Van Gameren" 13 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/198254/embassy-ethiopia-bjarne-mastenbroek-and-dick-van-gameren/>