Roots Visitor Center - Ollech + Tol

Roots Visitor Center

The “Roots” visitor center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is envisioned to exhibit the country’s local culture alongside it’s modern aspirations. Ethiopia, a diverse and ancient country with wild landscapes, contains to this day an authentic tribal culture alongside it’s modern day to day life.

  • Program


  • Client


  • Sector


  • Status


  • Team

    Tami Ollech Lerer, Nati Ollech

  • Collaborations


  • Location

    Adis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Size

    1200 sqm

The center was designed as an abstraction of a tree bark.

In creating the architecture of the center, Ollech+Tol translated the values of antiquity into concrete form to create an abstraction of a tree’s roots. The structure is radial, creating a circular walkway that leads the visitor through a narrative process, from the beginning – the entrance lobby, through the exhibition spaces, a multi-purpose hall displaying content at 360 degrees, to the exit.

The architecture is a translation of the values of antiquity into concrete form

The structure is to be built with the use of advanced technology, utilizing lightweight materials, comprised of a steel structure with Corten panels and glass cladding. The glass curtain rising between the shells allows for the penetration of light , injecting light and animating the interior spaces. The Corten cladding of the shells render the structure with an “earthly” feel, grounding it in its local context. The visitor center is a monumental structure, growing from the ground and striving towards the heavens.
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