• Addis Abeba, Etiopien. Kansliets entré Photographer: SFV

    Addis Abeba, Etiopien. Kansliets entré

The Swedish Embassy compound in Addis Ababa

The Embassy site in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa was a gift from Emperor Haile Selassie to King Gustav V. When Sweden took ownership in 1946, the plot housed a villa that had been built during the Italian occupation of 1939–41. Initially the villa served as the Ambassador's residence, with the Embassy occupying the basement level.

Overcrowding led to new office block

Over time the premises became too small and in 1962 a new office block was erected on the site, designed by architect Börje Wehlin. The new building had a single floor above ground and a full basement level. In addition to the chancery offices, the basement contained an apartment, although this was later also converted into office space.

Lantern roof and blond woods

When the Swedish aid agency Sida's activities were to be integrated with the Embassy, a decision was made to extend the offices. This work was carried out in 1997–98 based on drawings by architect Gunnar Åsell, with an extra floor added onto the old single-storey block. In addition, the building was linked by a ground level corridor to a terrace of former staff accommodation that is now also offices. Using a lantern roof and large openings in the floor between the levels, Åsell has been able to draw light into the innermost areas of the building on both storeys. A lightweight steel structure, a new staircase and a wall that runs in a gentle curve help to make the communal spaces feel large and spacious.

The light and airy colour scheme is emphasised by the furnishings, with a Swedish ambience invoked using a pale colour palette and blond woods. The walls are plastered and painted, while the floors are dressed with linoleum and limestone. In 2007 the Embassy gained a new migration office.



Lideta Sub-City, Kebele 07/14

Addis Abeba