Elmi Cava

TYPOLOGY: Mixed-Use  LOCATION: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ARCHITECTS:  RAAS ARCHITECTS CLIENT: Elmi Olindo Co.COMPLETION DATE: CONTRACT VALUE: BIRR — MILLION BUILT AREA:STATUS: Design completed

This project is located at a place surrounded by different natural features like a river and cliff. It also has different types of workshops like wood, metal, and marble workshops around it.

The design is first begun by considering the existing topography; setting the basic building level layout using the high-level difference of the site.

 

The programs are then laid as per the client’s requirement and the requirement of the programs for visual, audio, and spatial qualities.

It has 4 basement floors with parking space and other programs like a cafe, service area, cold room, store, and technical room on the first 3 basements. There is a guardhouse situated at the entrance to the basement floors, which is on the 2nd basement floor. The 4th basement has an office, storage, changing rooms, kitchen, cold room, cafeteria, and water reservoir.

The ground and first floors are for showrooms with few office spaces and separate access to the office floors and apartment floor. The 2nd to 4th floors are office floors and the final 2 floors are apartment floors. There is a terrace with one room on top.

The foundation requires its own visitor’s center to receive its guests, a guest house for its expatriates, and an office for its staff. So remodeling the existing G+3 structures of the military training building into the visitor’s center, the existing generator house into a guest house, and in addition, designing a new office block making the institution consist of three blocks. 

The wooden facade is constructed from the cutout obtained around the site. The facade treatment allowed the building to fit in with its surroundings, saving potentially cut-down trees from becoming waste.

The facade is designed using a box-like envelope to create a simple and functional perimeter with a monolithic look.

A dynamic continuous screen envelope is introduced to break the monolithic envelope.

The existing site inspires the material look of the building. The monolithic look derives from the natural look of the cliff edge.

The screen with its metallic look is inspired by the industrial workshops that exist on the site and the future intended furniture factory.

The materiality plays a role to express the natural and historical presence of the site with the industrial and future vision of the company.

The office block comprises 2 office spaces, a store, restroom, meeting area, kitchen, and veranda, giving workers a space to refresh and take a break.

The guest house has a living room, 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a spacious veranda, giving it a homey feel and allowing users to enjoy the surrounding nature.