In cooperation with BET architects from Ethiopia, Söhne & Partner shared with us their winning proposal in the international design competition for Ethiopian Airlines New Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Their design is intended to address the need of the airline’s growth, dynamic operation and attaining its Vision-2025. The landscape, being an important part of the interior design, is flowing through and underneath the building. The office blocks are cantilevered above the street level as a floating form to represent the mountains, canyons or rocks. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The airline has shown progressive development since its establishment and is now one of the fast growing and reputed airlines in Africa. Bridges are the connecting elements as a symbol of connecting cultures and nations. Like the landscape is flowing into the building, the lobby itself is floating and rising and there are always connections from the inside to the outside. You always feel like being in nature. The gardens in between the office blocks are landscaped areas with trees, benches and art sculptures.
As man-made buildings intrude into the landscape and in the midst of natural processes, so should the landscape and all adjoining natural processes make a striking yet pleasant intrusion into man-made buildings. Hence, the headquarter building has emerged to be a physical setting shaped as a number of departmentalized random blocks and the semi-external/internal voids in between the blocks allowing both human and natural elements to flow through, exposing at the same time harboring the internal circulation elements: the lobby, corridors, stairs, escalators, lifts, and bridges within the voids created among the blocks.