Zoma Museum

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Inspired by Ethiopia's timeless and structurally sound vernacular architecture, the Zoma Museum is a vision that has taken 25 years to realize. The distinctions between earthen architecture, sculpture, and land art are blurred in this museum.

It bears Zoma Shiferraw's name, a young Ethiopian artist who passed away in 1979 from cancer.

The amenities at the Zoma Museum include a gallery, library, children's area, edible garden, elementary school, art and vernacular school, amphitheater, and museum store.


Learn about the environmental and ecological concerns:

The core of Zoma's mission is education and the dissemination of building techniques that have proven to be capable of withstanding the ravages of time while retaining their beauty and grace.

The museum's mission is to present cutting-edge, innovative, and traditional art and architecture.

Embrace centuries-old traditional ways of lifestyle that are still relevant today:

Using soil has provided a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to other building materials for hundreds of years. In this instance, they decided to reinvent and interpret the traditional wattle and daub technique, known locally as chikka. This consists of a bamboo frame strung together, onto which walls have been built and filled with mud and straw.

The mud changes from sticky to rock-like after about a month.

After that, the walls are treated with flour, lime, and cactus juice to waterproof them naturally.

Witness the amalgamation of interests here into a tangible asset:

The Zoma Museum, a work of architecture, sculpture, and land art, suggest an interpretation of the four concepts of earth, land, ground, and soil while subtly highlighting their differences. Each building has a unique story, but they are all connected, and each one is rooted to the ground on which it is located. This connection is symbolic and serves a practical purpose in preventing rising dampness from damaging the wattle and daub walls and ensuring their longevity.

Explore the area to decipher the interconnectivity and interdependence:

The 'village' of structures illustrates how Frank Lloyd Wright's suggestion to use the earth as the primary building material can be put into practice.

Programmatically, the small-scaled built spaces include a central gallery flanked by several smaller free-standing galleries that house exhibition spaces, a library, a bakery and café, a school, an artist-in-residence program, and a training facility for traditional architecture.

Uncover deeper insights into this unchartered terrain:

The garden's cobblestone paths serve as pathways along which various manifestations of the relationship between the museum and the land can be seen.

Some locations, like the area where the theater and sunken seating face the rounded front building, favor a more topographical approach.

In other places, the aesthetic value of the landscape is indistinguishable from its levels of productivity, such as in areas where old farmers have been hired to help increase the productivity of the land, such as where a terraced garden overflows onto the hillside and is filled with vegetables and medicinal plants.

Get educated and enlightened by what it means to coexist in harmony with nature:

One of the main components of the museum's educational project is 'An Edible Garden,' which is enhanced by the addition of the international school Assegued and Sime to the precinct. They advocate for alternative teaching strategies that allow kids to 'plant, cook, paint, milk cows, and think' in a balanced and real-world setting.

  • imageDuration Required
    3 hours

Address of Zoma Museum

Mekanisa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Opening & Closing time of Zoma Museum

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday