Bas Hoevenaars

Bas Hoevenaars

Dwelling


Less space, more place!

Transforming public space in a peripheral condominium neighborhood of Addis Ababa.

Ten years ago the Ethiopian government started a mass housing program to deal with the current housing shortage in the capital town, Addis Ababa. All around the city similar housing blocks are built, from small scale interventions in the inner city to large scale developments in the periphery.

The urban layout of the peripheral neighborhoods is similar to the modernistic ideas of large housing blocks in open fields. A suburban landscape is created with compounds that consist of around six housing blocks that have little or no connection with the street life. This results in a public landscape that has little connection to the buildings and the people that live in them.

The design proposal focuses on one of these peripheral neighborhoods that has been build six years ago. By introducing a new type of housing block the public space is transformed from a vacant unpleasant landscape into a network of pedestrian streets and public places. The adaptable construction of the block together with the urban strategy makes this design proposal relevant for the whole city.

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