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-food preservation + waste reduction methods for local markets in Addis Ababa
gulit_Render_small.jpg The ‘gulit’ is the typical local fruits and vegetable market place of Addis Ababa. It consists of a series of small stalls, each used by a single vendor to sell their food items. These stalls are usually made out of basic metal sheds, and are not equipped with basic infrastructure including water and electricity. The materials used to store the food items inside the stalls are mostly plastic and inorganic. This particularity has the consequence on the market: The inappropriate storage of organic matter results in food loss through short shelf life - and what does not get sold during the day gets thrown away. This results in avoidable waste and economic loss and forces local vendors to buy from wholesalers on a daily basis, The GULIT PROJECT consist of a study based on a USD 50k research grant and a student workshop on designing and building sustainable system of food storage, in turn adding value to small scale vendors, while improving the quality and health of their produce. It was conducted between 2015 - 2017 .The workshop was held in 2016 at the EiABC. It aims to provide an alternative stall constructed out of double-layered pots made out of clay. They will be geometrically placed as to define space at the same time creating a passive cold storage system throughout the gulit.

The double layered clay pot functions as an evaporative cooling system. Inspired from a zeer pot – an evaporative cooling refrigeration device, traditionally used in West Africa and the Middle East- it is made of two layers of clay with a sand and water filled cavity in the middle. The outer layer of the pot, exposed to hot dry air sweats water, which in turn evaporates and provokes a heat exchange, cooling down the inner layer. The inner chamber of the pot can be used as food storage reach lower temperatures than the ambient air. During the course of the workshop, a 1:1 empirical test produced a drop in 10ºC. The outer temperature being 26 ºC and the one recorded inside the pot 16 ºC, which is ideal for vegetables. Clay is a material that has been used to: cool water; carry seeds; protect people from weather; and to preserve food. The proposed module introduces its contemporary approach and design to improve the culture of food preservation in Addis Ababa. During the course of the workshop, collaboration was set between EiABC and a local women’s crafts cooperative dedicated to clay-based products who worked with participants to produce the double layered pots.


Each pot consists of double spheres, which are approximately 45 cm in diameter. The spherical geometry enables them to be stacked one on the other to compose a structurally stable assembly. The geometry of the pot minimizes contact between one another improving their contact to the atmospheric air, necessary for the cooling. The pots are connected by a rope woven on each pot: facilitating the assembly; ensuring its structural stability; and providing a water channel in between each pot. Six vertical layers of pots make a 2.4 high wall. Stacking the pots has multiple advantages: the wall will be easy to construct and because of its modularity, it can always grow. The top pots will be watered on a daily basis and gravity will enable the distribution of the water through the entire wall system in turn optimizing water usage.


The GulitProject was tested with the local community via workshops, a selling stand in the market of Kasanchis and with the students of the EiABC and international staff invited to the workshop. Initial Project proposal: Melat Assefa + Julia Mauser Local Team:Desalegn Firew, Mezgebu Tigabu, Yabesra Akalu, Bezawit Bekele International Team: Edouard Cabay, Andrea di Stefano, Nicholas Weissbluth, James Brazil, Rafael Machado and the students of EiABC


The partnership proposes to deliver a business model, that regenerates the riverside. The plan focuses on rehabilitating a one-kilometer stretch of Little Akaki Riverside through in part converting it into a team-building park that caters to premium paying customers and the other part open to members of the surrounding community. This pioneer service providing facility will be an ideal destination for corporate companies, schools and government offices to organize team-building events. The idea has a two-pronged approach; firstly, by adding value to the location it will promote the rehabilitation effort. Secondly by deriving profit from this activity the project will be able rehabilitate additional stretches of riverside and river. The profit will catalyse other profit-making initiatives on the remaining upstream or downstream sections of the Tinishu Akaki river course, making the rehabilitation effort financially and socially sustainable. Due to its current physical appearance, the riversides do not attract businesses particularly those that contribute to SDG goals1. This is a barrier for businesses to invest; one of the goals of this partnership is thus changing the perception of investors by adding value to riversides and demonstrating investment options to attract the right kind of investment. In the immediate, implementing this business model will increase accessible green spaces in the city and reduce waste entering the river, but through time it contributes to the protection and regeneration of the river ecosystem by reducing pollution and increasing the availability of fresh water. The HRI has been conducting community research, water testing, topography analysis, awareness raising activities and relationship building with governmental and non- governmental institutions. And thus, recognizes rivers and riversides as a resource, however in Ethiopia it is undervalued, therefore private and public investments centering rivers are lacking. From the public side, recently this is changing with the ‘Beautifying Sheger Project’to beautify riversides. This business model can be an input to public and private investors that plan to be part of the beautifying effort. This business model provides a viable option for restoration and rehabilitation focused effort beyond beautification. Previous government pilot investments on riversides have not been successful because the financial sustainability of investments hasn’t been given sufficient attention.

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The site of AXUM WOMENS COOPERATIVE is centrally located in the new large western district of Axum. The urban layout is relatively densely planned, strictly orthogonal and provides individual "spots" for public or social facilities. The plot is a square of 56/56m (thus 3136sqm), with 2.50m to be kept clear of buildings all around the outside. There is a requirement of a minimum development of 75% of the plot area, that is, according to this requirement, the project should include at least 2352sqm of floor area. Concept The building for MAKEDA BRIGHT AFRICA should be a contribution recognizable as a special project and a friendly, inviting island within the planned, quite urban structure. Therefore, the necessary surrounding wall is not strictly on the site boundary, but partially releases some additional space for greenery (and parking). The quarry stone wall opens up to the various functions, is broken up by colored gates, as well as peepholes, and offers occasional glimpses of the interior. The main functions find space in individual light cubes, which contrast with the wall through design and material, "break through" it and thus become readable. Due to the loose arrangement of the buildings, different spaces are spanned inside the homestead, assigning the individual functions their own undisturbed area and allowing for a very situational design. The rooms are arranged according to the functional relationships to each other and according to the The functions of the cooperative (workshop / restaurant / store) are arranged around a large courtyard - there are different situations for entrance area, restaurant and agriculture, which with the greening of the courtyard and the roofed outdoor seating have a high quality of stay. Due to the exciting, staggered arrangement, the three buildings enter into dialogue with each other and invite visitors to stroll through and discover the complex.

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The upper floors provide space for additional functions, each of which is thematically related to the first floor (via Store > Guesthouse, via Restaurant > Event room, via Workshop > library, classroom, beauty, staff residence). Other service rooms, such as storage or office are also assigned to the individual functions. The kindergarten (common rooms) is centrally located in the complex and is also easily accessible from the cooperative / kitchen. The individual kindergarten rooms are arranged in a quiet area against the quarry stone wall and connected to the common rooms by their own landscaped courtyard (access from outside). The central roof of a wood/steel construction provides shade and connects the main functions as a special design element. The medical station finds space in a compact building and has its own access and courtyard, so that it can be operated self-sufficiently - in addition to the medical functions and pharmacy, guest rooms for doctors or emergency accommodation as a women's shelter on the upper floor would also be possible. The exact concept would have to be coordinated with the operator. Through the consistent design and clear disposition of the individual components and the materials (quarry stone wall / light-colored plaster / connecting roof) as well as the communicating arrangement of the monopitch roofs, the ensemble becomes readable as a whole. The interesting contrast of the quarry stone wall to the light cubes creates a design bridge of this special building to its urban surroundings. The courtyards are oriented to the south and well lit. Greenery and natural materials in the courtyards, as well as the interior design (clay plaster) give a warm atmosphere. Colorful accents in the window openings and the gates create orientation and a light, friendly appearance. Due to the simple, clear concept, the project can be implemented cost-effectively and with local materials and local construction methods.

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"Environmental Building Envelopes" (EBE) is an international workshop / master class held at the EIABC (Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development) in Addis Ababa in early 2014. EBE was set out to explore facade alternatives for the city of Addis Ababa which are environmentally conscious and culturally sensitive. At the same time the workshop intended to test the collaboration of an international team of designers and professionals to meet Ethiopian students and think about new ways of collaboration within a globally merging construction market. the semester was split into three phases: the artistic phase, where students had to analyse the path and shadows of the sun, a major design parameter integrated into the overall approach; the digital phase, where engineers form the UK held a number of workshops introducing digital tools like grasshopper into the design phase; and finally, the building phase. this phase started with the overall construction process, by defining and testing locally available materials, building small scale prototypes to test weight, sun exposure and other design parameters. finally, the structure was then built at the scale of 1:1, a detail measuring 3 meters by 2 meters, exhibited on the university campus. Team: Brook Teklehaimanot, Sebstian Behmann, Adiam Sertzu, Julia Mauser

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