The Reporter (Addis Ababa)

19 July 2014

Ethiopia: House Speakers Sign Deal to Build New Parliament Complex At Cost of Br2 Billion

Speakers of the House of Peoples' Representative (HPR) and the House of Federation (HoF) signed a design deal on Wednesday at Jupiter International Hotel to build a new parliament complex estimated to cost some two billion birr. Abadula Gemeda, speaker of the HPR said that the process for the preparation and awarding a winning design to the new building took an extended amount of time. According to the speaker, the time the process took was necessary to assure the best design is selected to erect a complex that will serve many generations to come in 100 to 150 years. "It's a well thought project that is planned to remain permanent and represent the nations and nationalities of the country symbolically."

Kassa Tekleberhan, speaker of the House of Federation on his part explained that the new planned building show the country's vision of 100 years to the coming generations.

Such said new complex, according to Addis Mebratu, architect and owner of the Addis Mebratu Design Studio, the building will have three major halls. One of them is destined for the MPs office and related activities. The second will accommodate members of the House of Federation. The third hall is designed for public assembly purposes. Other amenities include training facilities for MPs. Addis and his colleagues detailed that the complex will also host research corners and a printing press among others, a playground for children, restaurants and a cafeteria, parking and a garage will also be included in the complex. Addis said that the two billion birr parliament complex will be designed to host some 900 MPs. A year and half ago the budget assigned for the building was one billion birr. However, if the construction is taking place according to the international design standard the estimated cost will double. The Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MoUDC) is assigned to oversee the overall process by the two houses on their behalf. Hailemeskel Tefea, minister of state for MoUDC detailed how the process for the design competition was made. Both local and foreign companies have been involved and Addis Mebratu Design Studio has finally been awarded for its technical competencies. The proposed building will be erected closer to the existing 72-year-old parliament hall, in the Arat kilo area, in the center of the capital Addis. In related news, the Association of Ethiopian Architects (AEA) is to award veteran and junior professionals for their architectural achievements. Addis, who serves as president of AEA, told The Reporter that on the 16th annual convention, AEA would award prizes in six categories. The categories include prizes of outstanding achievement in architecture, town planning, prizes for lifetime achievements, prizes for improvement of the quality of human settlements (sustainable architecture,) prizes for best student projects and architectural criticisms or architectural education. According to Addis, 19 architects and institutions have been nominated so far. The convention will take place on July 25 and 26 at the Sheraton Addis sponsored by the African Union of architects.

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