German firm to design CBE headquarters in Addis Ababa
Henn Architekten has won first prize in an architectural competition for the construction of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) headquarters in Addis Ababa. Once completed, the 42-storey tower will be the tallest building ever built in Ethiopia.
The firm’s proposal includes, on the longer sides of the slender office tower, a gap in the facade which will reveal the city from a new perspective. The reduced reflection of the glass skin will permit a contrasting glimpse inside the building. This openness will continue to base level, where the entrance area will be revealed. The tower will be accompanied by a conference centre and a shopping mall. The buildings will be clustered around a sunken landscaped plaza.
At the competition awards ceremony, CBE president, Ato Bekalu Zeleke, said: “The construction of the new headquarters building is a gesture of CBE's aspiration to become a world class bank.” A seven-person jury composed of Ethiopians and foreigners in the field selected the winning architectural design from 21 local and foreign contestants that submitted their work.
The skyscraper, due to be built in five years' time, will bring CBE’s now-scattered organs under one roof.