An Absolute Point Of View
The project is located in the centre of Addis Ababa. This area is clearly divided into a modern quarter, featuring high rise buildings and advanced infrastructure, and a historical quarter that comes from the foundation of the city. Each area has its own urban morphology and they are separated by a large void, a transitional area. This represents the conflicting point between the two urban models as, due to the nearby construction of the light train line and the speculation it implies, the existence of the historical low-income neighbourhoods is in danger.
This precise in-between area becomes the starting point of the project, that aims to bridge and reconnect -materially and symbolically- the two halves of the city. The concept implies a dwelling environment that is neither completely modern nor completely traditional, but incorporates the field of tension between both.
The result is a web of pedestrian connections, open spaces and public amenities which constitute the locus of collectivity, site of meeting, trade and play. The open spaces are defined by the middle-rise developments that house, in the first floors, public functions. Finally, in the openings and in-between spaces of this web of connections the low-rise topologies are located. These buildings are able to enhance and reinterpret in a modern way the traditional and local way of living while using low cost and ready available materials as earth and bamboo.
Who influences you graphically?
In terms of architectural drawings, I was especially influenced by the works of Viar Estudio, in which plans and elevations are often merged together to show their mutual relationship.
You choose to reveal the proposal mainly through a selection of perspectives, why so?
The use of perspectives allows me to get closer to the reality of my proposal and depict the activities that will populate the architecture and make it alive. Nevertheless, I try to achieve an absolute point of view, distant from the personal experience of a single person.
What were the main objectives when constructing these views?
I wanted to offer the most insightful impression of how the living environment will look and will be inhabited over time. Indeed, the first step was the choice of textures and colours that will define the architectural environment while, the second step was the selection of objects and people which will colonise the scene.
What is your take on the architectural silhouette?
What makes architecture becomes real are people and how they appropriate, use and transform spaces, especially in a frenetic and developing environment like Addis Ababa.
All the silhouettes and objects are cut out from real pictures taken during the site visit and helped me to convey the concept of the project.
What was your work process in terms of project development and construction of images?
Everything started from studying and understating the country and its population with researches, site survey and interviews. Only after that, the concept was developed and the first 2d plans were drawn. When it came to the production of the images, the project has been modelled in Rhinoceros and then the line views has been exported for the postproduction of the collages. Having the 3d model allows me to render it and have the shadows that give depth to the view, especially to the elevation. Last but not least, some subtle textures have been put in the background of all the drawings in order to create a common graphic language.
If you could develop the project further where would this take you?
The main idea of the project was a system of three different layers that would be able to redevelop neighbourhoods in Addis Ababa in order to create inclusive environments. The next step would be the analysis of different areas of the city applying the same methodology. I expect this to mean the use of the same urban layers but a variation in their architectural elements according to the site. Indeed, my fascination with the topic is the attempt to use a general urban rule with the contextual application of it.
Federica Fogazzi is an Italian architect, working and living in the Netherlands. This work is part of her master graduation project, guided by the professor Dick van Gameren and Nelson Mota and appreciated with an honourable mention at Tu Delft . Currently, she is pursuing her architect career, working at Mecanoo Architecten in Delft.