For a city in bloom...

Designs for new mixed-use development in Ethiopia's capital

by Niki 27 October 2009 Urban design
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    The Addis Ababa Exhibition Center creates a fully integrated and pedestrian-centered mixed-use development on nearly 4.5-acres in northeast Africa. Designed by FXFOWLE Architects, the development incorporates the existing, adjacent Addis Ababa Museum and establishes an iconic retail, entertainment and cultural destination. The 70,000m sq. complex includes retail, food and beverage amenities, office space, cultural and entertainment facilities, and a business hotel.

    Serving both local inhabitants and visitors alike, the design solution seeks to create a lively and informal ground-level experience tied to the natural landscape, coupled with a more formal and structured experience that rises from the lower level in a series of sculpted towers.

    The form and composition of the office, hotel and cultural towers are inspired by the significance of the name 'Addis Ababa', which translates to 'new flower'. The rounded facades of the towers parallel the organic and emergent qualities of a new flower orienting itself to the sun. Nevertheless, while the towers look outward, they remain grounded and connected to the foundation and base of the site. Individual pieces of colored glass that adhere to the curtain wall system compliment the materials used in the various buildings that surround the site, and give each building a shimmering and reflective effect.


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