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A Holistic Approach to Large-Scale Housing Development in Urban Ethiopia

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Title:A Holistic Approach to Large-Scale Housing Development in Urban Ethiopia
Authors:Kassa, Bewketu
Contributors:Park, Hyoung-June (advisor)
Architecture (department)
Date Issued:Dec 2013
Abstract:Due to the rapid urbanization of Ethiopian cities, the growing demand for housing in its urban areas has accelerated the development of large-scale housing projects. This has created a challenge for local authorities responsible for their development in a relatively short period of time. Therefore, current housing development follows the conventional approach where limited building types are developed and replicated with minor modifications to accommodate given site conditions. This strategy has resulted in an environment that is not suitable for the traditional lifestyle of common Ethiopian. Studies show that the lack of social and cultural considerations in the current development has hampered the quality of life of its residents. The research conducted in this paper proposes a holistic approach to large-scale housing development in order to provide optimized solutions for social mix and multi-generation family life style in Ethiopia. The holistic approach is developed within a parametric modeling environment supported by Rhinoceros 3D & Grasshopper and its plug-ins in order to enhance design feasibility studies. The approach is based upon four major components such as 1) social and cultural factors, 2) a neighborhood model of urban typology, 3) a financial model and 4) a massing study model that delineates the possible building variations. A research project location in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is selected as a test site for the proposed development strategy. The site is part of a large informal settlement that was demolished and replaced by a typical low-cost housing development composed of four and seven story towers. The goal is to generate an alternative building typology based on the new holistic approach, which meets the social, cultural and economic needs of tenants. Analysis of informal settlements in Addis Ababa has identified multigenerational living, socially and financially mixed communities as important ingredients for building a sustainable community. It was also discovered that semiprivate spaces, circulation paths and scalable housing units as key spatial variables that are necessary for the successful cultivation of these communities. Based upon the analysis of social and cultural factors of given urban district, a neighborhood model is developed from existing site context and defined as a space holder for including various architectural programs such as different unit types (studio, one-bed, two-bed), spatial definitions (private, semiprivate, public), and circulation (vertical and horizontal). The financial model is based on the optimization among the three criteria including market value, construction cost, and government incentives in order to provide tangible benefits for encouraging various income groups to participate in this social mix largescale housing community. The financial model guides the direction of generating massing model variations with the parametric application in the boundary of the neighborhood model in terms of 1) number of units, 2) arrangement of spatial definitions, and 3) configuration of circulation. The direct connection between financial model and massing model within neighborhood boundary condition allows a developer to review design alternatives with changing numbers, at the same time, an architect to understand a financial condition of each alternative with modifying designs.
Pages/Duration:89 pages
Appears in Collections: D.ARCH. - Architecture

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