Berhan Bank Headquarter Addis Ababa office, Ethiopia commercial property, African HQ design images

Berhan Bank Headquarter Addis Ababa Building

Commercial Accommodation design by Söhne und Partner Architekten / Image Consultancy PLC

post updated 14 February 2024

Design: Söhne und Partner Architekten with Image Consultancy PLC Addis Ababa

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Berhan Bank Headquarter, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, northeast Africa

Berhan Bank Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Rendering by MISS3

29 June 2023

Berhan Bank Headquarter Addis Ababa Design

Berhan Bank Headquarter
Location: Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
Year: 2023
Rendering: MISS3
In cooperation with: Image Consultancy PLC Addis Abeba
What: Competition entry

The architectural competition for the design of Berhan Bank’s headquarters in Addis Ababa aimed to unite all departments under one roof and create state-of-the-art facilities with a prestigious design. The result is a building that embodies the bank’s vision and is a symbol of a growing, aspiring company.

Berhan Bank Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Simple structure great effect

To achieve a clear separation between the different functional units, we opted for two cuboid towers and a low connecting volume. The basic structure of the building also allows for a simple realisation in terms of structural engineering and a fast, efficient construction. The unique character of the building is created by the special facade design, which ensures a high recognition value and gives the building its identity.

On 45 floors, the 210 m high main tower offers space for offices of the bank. The smaller tower will house various facilities as well as a day care centre and rentable office space. The podium houses the bank’s premium branch, the retail area and a food court.

Berhan Bank Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Plaza, lobby and mall

A spacious forecourt directly on the main road is both a meeting point and a representative location. It is terraced and follows the terrain. A playful, lively landscape with shaded areas and a fountain is created. The landscaped square will be provided with shady areas. Several cafés and restaurants as well as the bank’s “premium branch” face the forecourt and invite passers-by and visitors to linger. The public mall extends over four floors, which are connected by a light-flooded atrium. A skylight naturally illuminates the entire area and offers a view of the tower reaching into the sky.

The main tower presents itself to the square via a bright, two-storey-high lobby and emphasises the bank’s forward-looking identity through modern furnishings and natural materials. The core of the tower is highlighted by the wooden cladding, which picks up on the facade fins. “BERHAN” means “light”.

In keeping with the bank’s motto “There will be light”, one can observe at night on the front facade of the towers how a ray of light rises along the tower and “grows” into the sky like a flower. This embodies the bank as a growing, aspiring company.

Vertical fins on the facade protect the building from the sun and the climatic conditions. The depth of the fins depends on the orientation of the facade to the sun. As a result, the appearance of the building envelope changes depending on the viewing angle and contributes to the special appearance of the building. Green terraces on the roofs of the buildings offer space to relax and a spectacular view over the city.

Competition information:

Name of the awarding authority: Berhan Bank S.C.

Competition type: the competition is an anonymous, single-stage project competition.

Berhan Bank Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Competition Brief

Berhan Bank has depended on the use of various business premises since its establishment. Renting was not limited to the branches but also affected the head office departments as there was no single building available to accommodate all the bank’s needs. The current facilities at China-Africa Friendship Square are located in three different buildings.

Some facilities are dispersed to other locations. To remedy this, the construction of a separate main building was envisaged long before a suitable site was acquired in the Central Business District on a rental basis.

The aim of the project to build its own head office building was not only to bring all departments under one roof, but also to provide state-of-theart facilities to achieve the set goal of attaining the status of a preferred bank in terms of customer experience and integrity. Owning its own head office building will also have a significant impact on continued business expansion and growth and will be a viable asset that will add value to the business.

Ethiopia commercial property, African HQ interior design

Architectural Competition Timetable

Launch: 9 January 2023
Deadline for submission: 3 April 2023
Judging of entries: 4 to 22 April 2023
Award ceremony: 29 April 2023
Public exhibition of entries: 2 – 16 May 2023
Opening of the competition: 6 May 2023


Ato Alebel Desta Architect
Ato Getachew Mandefro, Architect
Ato Kirub Gebreyesus Architect
Ato Kenmos Tesfaye, Structural Engineer
The following stakeholders are also nominated as alternate jury members.
Dr Girma Begashaw
Eng. Seblewongel Assefa
Ato Solomon Alemseged
Eng. Yewubdar Gebeyehu

Berhan Bank Headquarter Addis Ababa office design images / information from Söhne und Partner Architekten

Söhne und Partner Architekten

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Northeast Africa

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Comments / photos for the Berhan Bank Headquarter Addis AbabaNew Ethiopia Architecture design by Söhne und Partner Architekten / Image Consultancy PLC in Africa page welcome.