MTD conquers Ethiopia...!

June 2, 2014
In an international playing field of 10 selected design teams, in conjunction with Treurniet Architecten, Clercx Architecten and S7 architects (from Addis Ababa), MTD landschapsarchitecten has won the 2nd prize for a design for a city park (32 hectares) and corresponding architectural schedule in Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa.
The limited competition, held by the HoA-REC&N (Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Centre and Network), the Addis Ababa City Administration (AACA) and the University of Addis Ababa, involves the dismantling and transformation of a former ‘open’ landfill site which dates back to the 1960s. The main objective on the one hand is to get a grip on the environmental issues (stench, pollution of surface water, emission of methane gas), and on the other hand, to supplement the network of the city's public space with an urbanized public area and sports park with a ‘science’ museum, a park pavilion, a sports centre and a look-out tower.
The park concept will assume a zoning in 3 subareas, keeping in line with the direct context of the area. In the first place an urban park zone along the Addis Ababa ‘ring road’, which facilitates the main entrance to the park, the sports functions, the public events grounds, a drive-in cinema, a look-out tower and a park boulevard. As a second subarea, there is a natural zone on both sides of the Tinishu Akaki River, which incorporates various bridges across the river, creating new connections between the housing suburbs and the park in the vicinity. In the natural zone the idea is to construct an arboretum with indigenous Ethiopian trees and a helophyte filter for the purification of surface water derived from the former landfill site. The third subarea forms the heart of the park and comprises a stretched-out park woods of Acacia trees (so characteristic for Africa), including a museum, the park pavilion and an adventurous children's playground. The main accesses and parking facilities are included in this section of the park.
Initially, the 5 adjudicators chaired by the Finnish architect Karl Silfverberg did not arrive at a unanimous choice for the winner and runner-up, so they had to cast their votes to determine (with a difference of one vote) the end result. An Ethiopian architect agency with an Italian partner were awarded the first prize which they received in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa on 2nd May 2014.
 
Aside from this honourable mention, MTD landschapsarchitecten was selected to take part in the design team for the new national parliament building in Addis Ababa / Ethiopia. Together with two Ethiopian architect agencies Treurniet Architecten clinched this prestigious contract with a competition-winning design. Starting this summer MTD landschapsarchitecten will be developing a vision on the contextual bonding and development of the surroundings of this exceptional new building. The start of the project will be marked by a visit by a delegation from the Ethiopian parliament and the design team to the Netherlands, to make their acquaintance and to visit a number of relevant reference projects.
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