From in Vitro to in Vivo and vice versa

Wednesday, 12. September 2012 | 14:00 Uhr


Marc Angélil


ETH Zurich


The work of Professor Marc Angélil from ETH Zurich in Addis Abeba consists of three areas: “the book”, “the school” and “the town”. Ethiopia has roughly 80 million inhabitants, four to five million of these live in the capital Addis Abeba. This African country is considered to be one of the poorest countries worldwide. In 2008, the Federal Council and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia signed an agreement that focuses on cooperation in education, research and practice. In a research projects, local construction materials such as bamboo, mud and clay were tested because Addis Abeba imports all construction materials from other countries, mostly from China. They made a comparative analysis that showed the urban and rural scenes in the Western World and Africa when it comes to transport of goods, food security, water, mobility and their consequences for the coun-try. The result was the project BuraNEST – a sustainable town in the vicinity of Bura that was planned on the drawing board (NEST = New Ethiopian Sustainable Town). With the involvement of the neighborly inhabitants and their ideas, the works started in spring 2012. The project includes a system of water distribution channels for agriculture, a tree nursery and simple shelters equipped with rain water tanks. The objective of the project is to strengthen the rural communities around Addis Abeba with a network of towns and to decelerate rural migration to towns.

Marc Angélil

Marc M. Angélil has been Full Professor of Architecture and Design at the Institute for Urban Design at ETH Zurich since April 1st, 1997 and is responsible for first-year design classes in the Department of Architecture.

Born in 1954, Prof. Angélil studied architecture at the ETH Zurich. His doctoral dissertation on the subject of technic and form in the theory of architecture was awarded the ETH silver medal. From 1982 to 1987 he was assistant professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and from 1987 to 1994 associate professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1994 he was named assistant professor of Architecture and Design at the ETH Zurich. His research activities deal with the contemporary developments in urban design. Using various case studies from Europe, Asia and the USA, metropolitan areas are investigated in view of their physical structures. Major emphasis is placed on working out strategies to support sustainable urban development processes, with attenton given to the dynamic forces involved in the formation and transformation of a city.

In addition to his academic activities, Marc M. Angélil is a practicing architect. With his partners, Sarah Graham, Reto Pfenninger and Manuel Scholl, he has architectural offices in Los Angeles and Zurich. One of their latest projects – together with Martin Spöhler – involves the Midfield Docks as part of the fifth expansion phase at the Zurich Airport.

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