Located at the center of Addis Ababa, Zen Apartments provides exquisite Mid Century service-apartments in a secluded, quiet and secured neighborhood in a gated compound; offering a tranquil Green Lifestyle with ‘Zenitude’ unlike anything in Addis where attention to detail is the standard, from the lush spacious garden to the apartment rooms with an impeccable finish.
Residents and guests can enjoy the green garden or work or for leisurely relaxation on a hammock or in outdoor sitting areas appreciating the sound of birds who find refuge in the indigenous trees surrounding the property.
The vision to build mid-century-inspired apartments all started when the present owners had to demolish the 60-year-old house where they grew up; a large property acquired by their grandparents in the ’50s passed on to their children of which a large portion was nationalized in the ’70s. The owners collected the old stones, bricks, wood reused for the construction of the new apartment where several old furniture and family memorabilia can be found in the lobby and the restaurant.
From the onset, it was decided to work with young dynamic professionals; architects, contractors, workers, and artisans who were given freedom for creativity. The elegant interior design of the Mid-century modern building was possible thanks to the collaboration with a renowned painter, sculptor, and furniture designer Addiskidane Ambaye who also helped in the supervision of the execution of the well-crafted finishing.
Each fully furnished apartments have distinct minimalist interior designs that blend with the modern ensuring the use of Eco-friendly building materials such as reclaimed exposed bricks, re-purposed wood parquet from demolished old houses reworked on-site workshop or from the small carpentry in the neighborhood where most of the custom-designed furniture is and handmade. Zen also collaborates with local known or upcoming furniture and design houses for unique pieces and lighting features to fill the rooms. This created employment supported the local industry and reduced imports while leaving a small ecological footprint by implementing environment-friendly construction materials whenever feasible.
“The elegant interior design of the Mid-century modern building was possible thanks to the collaboration with a renowned painter, sculptor, and furniture designer Addiskidane Ambaye.”
Zen incorporates important components such as a reception lobby, a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments with living and eating spaces as well as fully equipped kitchens, and bedrooms equipped with the latest technologies customized to the guests’ needs where all amenities and bathroom fixtures work to perfection.
When joining Zen, residents will have the freedom to provide inputs in the design of their apartment that will be customized to their needs as their new home. They will also become part of a family and of a community where they will learn about Ethiopian culture and tradition. They celebrate all Ethiopian holidays with owners and staff as well as to neighborhood weddings and festivities to enjoy the culture, customs, and traditions as well as the Zen environment and lifestyle.
The spacious restaurant is a Mid-century haven designed to give a pleasant atmosphere and offer full-fledged services offering healthy, organic, and traditional food with carefully selected fresh produce from small and trusted local suppliers, prepared with love by the experienced young cooks and staff. The lobby and the restaurant spaces also double as a gallery of a variety of vintages, antiques, collectibles, and furniture acquired from dealers and markets over the years, for display, learning, and conservation of the past. The gallery is also a place of exchange and learning for the youth as it exhibits and promotes emerging talented artists who have unique artwork ranging from photography and painting to sculpture, and other custom design works.
“The gallery is also a place of exchange and learning for the youth as it exhibits and promotes emerging talented artists who have unique artwork ranging from photography and painting to sculpture, and other custom design works.”
The dedicated young staff mostly women are fresh graduates who undergo further in-house training and are encouraged to attend further higher education or training paid for by the company to empower them in their work and communication with guests and visitors.
“Zen is a place where the old and the new seamlessly blend with unmatched personalized service and peace in a family setting- a very rare quality in Addis. And no pictures do justice to this place” comments one of the residents when we were taking pictures for this article.
The owners envision to become the first certified ‘green social entrepreneurs’ in the country as they strive to introduce solar energy, rainwater harvesting, and water recycling in the future while improving the lives of the employees and the community while catering to the growing demand of clients and tourists who are looking of green environmentally friendly places that impact lives.
The success of the new Apartments is the passion and hard work of the dedicated team but also because of inputs of many professionals who generously advised and gave ideas on the development of the project not discounting the complicity and generosity of the residents, now part of the Zen family.