Project's Summary

The Melaku Center, a groundbreaking project developed by the architectural studio XVSTUDIO, is set to become a hub of learning, work, and innovation for the residents of Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray in northern Ethiopia. With its focus on sustainable development, the Melaku Center is poised to become a model for the entire African continent, encompassing not only the design of its buildings but also its comprehensive program.

Drawing inspiration from traditional African architecture, the Melaku Center seamlessly integrates geometry and architecture. The project employs a fractal hexagonal grid, a common feature in African design, which accommodates classrooms and other facilities of varying sizes. The classrooms themselves are arranged in small groups, resembling the shape of a flower. By embracing the climate and vernacular architecture of Ethiopia, the exterior spaces of the center double as school corridors, promoting a harmonious connection with nature.

One of the key aspects of the Melaku Center's design is the emphasis on natural ventilation. Each learning space is equipped with ventilation from multiple sides, while the porches leading to these spaces house solar panels that will generate electricity for the entire school. This innovative approach not only reduces the center's reliance on traditional power sources but also serves as a testament to its commitment to sustainability.

In addition to its architectural marvels, the Melaku Center strives to create a harmonious relationship with the surrounding landscape. The center will incorporate local species in its design, and the students themselves will take on the role of researchers and gardeners for the intermediate spaces. This hands-on approach allows them to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for their environment while actively participating in its preservation.

The Melaku Center also harnesses the power of solar energy to meet its electricity needs. All buildings within the project will be equipped with a network of photovoltaic panels, ensuring a sustainable and reliable source of power. Furthermore, excess energy generated by the center will be shared with the city, contributing to the broader community's energy needs.

The Melaku Center goes beyond architectural excellence and sustainability. It embodies a holistic approach to development, creating an ecosystem of knowledge, progress, and natural resource utilization. With its innovative design, commitment to sustainable practices, and integration of local communities, the Melaku Center sets a new benchmark for educational and sustainable development projects in Africa.

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