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The Addis Ababa House

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A Typological Analysis of Urban Heritage
in Ethiopia

Edited by Piet Nieder

In its early decades, the ­Ethiopian capital, founded in 1886, witnessed a very specific form of ­architecture. At the beginning of the East African country’s first ­urbanisation process, a mixture of vernacular knowledge and a new cosmopolitan mindset led to an archi­tectural type that local professionals refer to as the ‘Addis ­Ababa Style’: Pavilion-like buildings of different sizes, made of stone, earth, and wood, characterised by expressive pinched roofs, generous verandas with curtain walls, and a high degree of detailing. Today, those graceful, ­appropriate, and nature-based buildings are under threat of being swallowed up due to shortsighted economic interests. In cooperation with the Institute for Architecture in ­Addis Ababa (EiABC), architects of Berlin’s Technical University studied this typology with regard to its embeddedness in local resources, climatic conditions, and craftsmanship. As such, they employed the ­‘Addis ­Ababa House’ as a case study to discuss the possibility of a non-­industrial building type that ­reflects the desire for a cosmopolitan urban life.


210 x 230 mm
272 pages

over 3000 images

ISBN 978-3-86922-867-9


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