Artistic Residency

> PROGRAM : artistic residency for international exchange
> LOCATION : Ethiopia, Amhara, Gondar, 12°36″23’N 37°28″05’E
> NGO : Gondar Art Tank
> LOCAL PARTNER : under progress
> AREA : building 600m2 + landscaping 600m2
> PROGRESS : SD phase  


One half artistic residency, one half collaborative art school, Gondar Art Tank (GAT) aspires to be a unique community where Ethiopians and international artists can come together in the name of art. this unique environment would nurture symbiotic artistic creation and serve as platform for cultural exchange. In partnership with the local government of Gondar, the former capital of Ethiopia and cultural cradle of the horn of Africa, GAT hosts artists in residency with the walls of the Fasil Ghebi Citadel.Artists will be invited to participate in collaborative works with local artists, learn and share their techniques and creative approaches,and lead workshops and seminars exposing on their own experiences and areas of expertise. Once a year, a final singular collaborative art piece will be exhibited in one of the aisles of the castle. 

GAT aims to promote collaborative arts education in the local community encouraging a cross pollination of artistic expression. Ethiopian artists living abroad will a place where they can come home and exchange their experiences with the local avant-garde of Addis and Gondar. Western artists can draw new inspirations in this unique culture while discovering local techniques. The synergistic benefits for all involved would allow for a renaissance in this iconic city in the Horn of Africa; incubating ideas for young artists of all nationalities to take part in vast international projects. GAT aims to be the foundation where artists, curators, gallerists, researchers, universities, and art schools an together build an artistic vision.

bird view


The site is located inside the Royal Enclosure of the Fasil Gebhi Castle. It is a haven of peace in the middle of a chaotic city, between the serene inner spaces of the castle and the frenetic churning of a city under development. The settlement will be an artistic residency, which located on this specific site creates many opportunities for future residents. The location allows for the fullest possible experience in exploring the city. Allowing residents to soak up all the culture and new inspirations Gondar has to offer. The fast changing city life will be balanced through the artist’s experiences inside the walls of a historical castle of more than 500 years.

The site already includes 400m2 of existing buildings that will welcome the future workshop; consisting of a future research center and the future residency supporting facility. An extra 200m2 of accommodation will ne built in order to receive residents in comfortable living conditions.



The themes of «  repetition  » (stone arrangement of the historical buildings on site and the framework of the existing main hall) and the strength of the presence of the historical enclosure are going to strongly influence the general architectural concept.



First the renovation will solve all the existing and technical problems (humidity on walls, broken parts,…) by a simple and logical answer to a precise diagnostic. Secondly, it will place equal importance on the existing buildings in the heart of the project as the new intervention. The workshop is the masterpiece of the renovation : artists will create here, exhibition and seminars will be organized here, and the public will be welcome here. It will be a flexible and neutral space for main different activities.  A special attention has been focused on lighting, movable partitions, and the colors of the space (mainly white).



The accommodations will be located between the crowded Enclosure ring road and the existing workshop. In the image of local urban practices that consists of building houses around a central courtyard (where people can enjoy calm and peace away from the energy of the surrounding city), the accommodations have been designed around private courtyards where artists will experience the solitary peace required during times of creation. Stone and wood will be mainly used for construction. From the street, the new construction will become a part of the Royal Enclosure that has been built and rebuilt plenty of times the last 500 years, with many different elements.


click here to read about the Royal Enclosure