M2.1 | On Proximity and Distance

  Swiss Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Copyright: © Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (mod.)  

On Proximity and Distance
A New Building for the Swiss Embassy in Ethiopia

As part of the two-semester design project, we will develop new perspectives for the Swiss Embassy in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and thus reopen the architectural dialogue between two completely different cultures. The construction site already houses the Swiss representation in the form of several individual buildings that are inadequate in many respects. These are to be replaced by a convincing new overall complex consisting of embassy and residence with an appropriate space, representation and security concept.

Embassy buildings represent the land of their provenance in a visible and direct way and thus represent genuine export architectures. At the same time, however, they are also import architecture, as they are created in a cultural, climatic and (urban) architectural context that is often completely contrary to this. How can the phenomenon of this decontextualization be overcome? How does a pure transfer architecture become an architecture of dialogue, or in other words, how does one implement an architecture of "Swissness" in the context of an East African capital with a subtropical climate? How is the essence of the dialogical again compatible with the essence of the closed and secluded, which is always inscribed, indeed must be inscribed, in an embassy building?

In teams of two students each, we will go in search of an appropriate architectural answer to the spatial, functional and atmospheric questions of the complex building task "embassy". By the way, the design project has a strong relation to reality: in the summer of 2018, the Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (BBL) actually organised a competition on the same theme. The declared aim of the course is therefore not least to get to know partial aspects of the successful handling of such a topic.



M2.1 Design Project
M.Sc. | 1st and 2nd semester


Introduction: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 10am to 12 noon, AGes Library
Guest talks and supplemental module Embassy Architecture 1 as a compact course: November 26 to 30 ("Weiße Woche")
Colloquium 1: Tuesday, December 18, 2018, from 9am, AGes Library
Colloquium 2: (= final Colloquium M2.1): Tuesday, February 5, 2018, from 9am, AGes Library


Univ-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Naujokat
​Dipl.-Ing. Architektin Verena Hake
Dipl. Arch. Bruno Schindler