Construction Workshop in Addis Ababa

Institution : New South
Host School / Ecole Partenaire : Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building construction and City development (EiABC), Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Department of Architecture
Partners / Partenaires : African Union, French Ambassy of Addis Ababa, Solish International Hotel
Location / Lieu : Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date : Oct. 2017
Program / Programme : International workshop within the research cycle “An Odyssey in Domestic Space” led by the collective New South / Workshop international dans le cadre du cycle de recherche “Une Odyssée de l’Espace Domestique” mené par le collectif New South
Theme / Thème : Ethiopian domestic space / L’espace domestique éthiopien
Coordination : Meriem Chabani
Team / Equipe : Meriem Chabani, Pierre David, Fasika Sahlemariam, Betel Biruk, François Le Pivain, Alexandre Linguanotto
Students / Etudiants : Yasmin Abdu Bushra, Sabuntu Adishio, Ezra Alemseged, Carla Causse, Oliyad Emiru, Surafel Essayas, Yeheyis Fantahun, Pierre Fonseca, Bruk Getahun Bery, Hannah Hofte, Manon Lavaud, Lefti, Isaac Mindekessa,Adolfo Montilva, Leti Numani, Mahlet Retta, Nuhamin Sahlemichael, Sara Terefe, Dawit Teum, Hana Zerihun


“An Odyssey of Domestic Space” is a series of workshops and lectures centered around the question of housing in Africa, that takes place during a 4 year period. Its ambition is to traverse the continent and its various climates in order to paint a landscape of contemporary African housing, in both its diversity and commonality.
The architecture workshops vary between building at one to one scale and theoretical analysis, in collaboration with various local schools and universities. The entire process is documented with the publication of a book compiling four years of research, as well as through video throughout the journey.
Addis Abeba marked the start of the workshop series in October 2016. The Ethiopian institute of Architecture, Building construction and City development (EiABC) offered to host an temporary construction on campus, that remained for a year. On that occasion, a “hybrid” pavilion was built, uniting within one construction project various materials and techniques inspired by the diverse Ethiopian vernacular vocabulary. The choice of program was not intended to dictate a form, but to serve as a laboratory. The membrane, in its thickness, materiality, and the diversity of its vernacular incarnations, serves as the entrance point to an exploration  of the invisible as well as the tangible, social imaginaries as well as technologies of construction. In that composite house, we explored various domestic conditions : where to sleep, where to cook, where to eat, where to live.


Addis Abeba marque le lancement du cycle “Une Odyssée de l’Espace Domestique” en Octobre 2016. A cette occasion, l’Ethiopian institute of Architecture, Building construction and City development (EiABC) nous a invité à construire une structure éphémère sur son campus, qui devait rester en place pendant un an. Le pavillon réalisé est une structure expérimentale explorant les relations existant entre les espaces de la maison éthiopienne, à travers la notion de membrane, et la décomposition d’usages simples : où dormir, où cuisiner, où manger, où vivre. Cet assemblage a pour ambition de ne pas produire de forme prescriptive, mais de servir de laboratoire et d’outil pédagogique à destination du campus, permettant d’accueillir les expérimentations matérielles et structurelles des étudiants. Dans cette maison composite, la condition domestique explose la forme attendue de la maison.

Photos / Film © New South