- Award Cycle:Status:Award RecipientCountry of origin:EthiopiaLocation:Addis Ababa, EthiopiaClient:Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The NetherlandsArchitect:Dick Van Gameren, Bjarne MastenbroekDesign:Size:55'000 m²Completed:2005
The Royal Netherlands Embassy complex lies amidst the urban sprawl on the southern outskirts of Addis Ababa, enclosed within a dense eucalyptus grove. The architects’ guiding principle was to preserve and respect the topography of the
surrounding landscape while addressing the functional requirements of a working embassy. They took care to maintain existing contour lines and leave the vegetation and wildlife undisturbed.
The main building, an elongated horizontal volume, cuts across the sloping terrain on an east–west axis. Walls, floors and ceilings are pigmented the same red-ochre as the Ethiopian earth and are uniformly composed of concrete, creating the effect of a cave-like space, reminiscent of the rock-hewn architecture of Ethiopia. By contrast, the roof garden with its network of shallow pools alludes to a Dutch water landscape.