25 February 2008

Ethiopia: Design Competition Held for Gullele Botanical Garden

Addis Abeba — A competition of Architectural and Landscaping Design was conducted at the City Hall on Saturday for what is to be the country's first ever botanical garden in Gullele, in the north western outskirts of the capital.

Architectural design competitions are usually held for buildings of national importance or essential public service buildings and taking part in those kinds of competitions what vie for.

The Gullele Botanic Garden design competition was conceived by the project secretariat to advance the realization of the garden based on the approved development plan.

The basic requirements to promote the competition were fulfilled and access to the means readily available in preparations for the competition started in July 2007.

Contacts were then made with the Association of Ethiopian Architects to collect the Terms of Reference, according to Wuhib Kebede, Professional and Technical Advisor for the competition.

"Becoming a winner in one is considered a great professional achievement," he said.

Professional associations, recognizing these facts, have adopted rules and regulations for conducting competitions.

Wouhib said the Terms of Reference prepared for the botanical garden highlighted the objectives of setting up a botanic garden and the particular features of Gullele.

The large tract of land covering over 800 hectares on the north-western corner of Addis Ababa and straddling the Awash-Abay watershed is endowed with all the positive features that are required to establish a successful botanic garden.

The varying topography from the top of the Entoto range to the southern reaches represents an elevation difference that can easily be utilized for various types of vegetation.

Wuhib said the other objective of the competition was to foster collaboration between Ethiopia and foreign professionals.

Participants were required to form consortia to fully exploit the expertise in botanic garden design professionals possess, with the knowledge exposure Ethiopian professionals in building design and site conditions.

The international jury appointed to appraise the entries was drawn up from Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, South Africa and Sudan.

The award for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize was 100,000.00, 60,000.00 and 40,000.00 ETB, respectively.

Gullele Botanic Garden Board Members and Management Team, Ambassadors, representatives of international organizations, federal and regional organizations, foreign and local NGOs, prominent individuals and other invited guests attended the award ceremony.

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