Addis 1960s Architecture

Salambo in Addis

I recently attended a conference at the Goethe Institute on 1960s architecture in Addis. Addis may not be known internationally for its architecture, however it has some unique examples of the various architectural styles developed in the 1960s. Walking around Addis, one cannot fail to notice the uniqueness of these buildings, especially at a time when so much is being demolished to make way for new high-rise towers.

The Bidula building near the National Theatre in central Addis. Its architect is unknown The Bidula building near the National Theatre in central Addis. Its architect is unknown

As architectural expert, Professor Knebel (a German academic now teaching at the University of Oman) explained at the conference, in the last decade of emperor Haile Selassié’s rule, the city saw a construction fever through the commissioning of many administrative buildings as well as residential appartements blocks. At the time, the focus was on creating a modern city which had the ambition of becoming the capital of Africa…

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