located in addis ababa, ethiopia, the ‘lideta mercato’ brings a contemporary expression to the rapidly growing city. the vast carved volume connects two parallel streets that create the boundary of the plot. this diagonal connection creates a shortcut for pedestrians and places focus on the entrances of the building.
all images © gonzalo guajardo
the six-year project by VILALTA arquitectura will be used as a commercial complex. after analyzing the typical blueprint of malls in addis ababa, a recurrent design factor of these buildings is their entirely glazed façade. combined with the hot climate, this leads to poor thermal conditions and overheating of the interior spaces. for this project, the architects adopted the approach seen in traditional open-air markets in africa, leading to the lideta mercato to be conceived as a multi-leveled contemporary market place.
the striking envelope of the building takes into consideration of the local climate conditions and place. the façade acts as a protection from the harsh sun, controlling the natural light and ventilation into the internal spaces. using a lightweight concrete prefab system, the perforated skin references a traditional ethiopian fractal pattern commonly found in local fabrics. the passive ventilation system and controlled natural lightening created between the building’s layers and the interior atrium enables the interior space to be airy with a balanced illumination.
floors are arranged around a void
after analyzing observation of the old mercato (the largest open air market in africa) this influenced the program
the floors overlap to allow for equal distribution of light
the square openings create a play of light internally
the façade pattern was taken from local ethiopian fabrics
in the end, the mall will be a contemporary market place
the main stairwell
the skin of the building was designed considering the local climate conditions
the carved volume connects two parallel streets that define the plot of the project.
location: addis ababa, ethiopia
client: flintstone engineering
surface area: 14,200 sqm
time: 2010 -2016
restricted competition: 1st prize
architects: vilalta arquitectura
director: xavier vilalta
project leader: maria rosaria favoino
project team: joao medeiros, miguel sánchez enkerlin, reema al -ajlan, daniel vaczi
engineering mechanical & sanitary: abiy aberra