Civil Engineering graduates of 2012 from Eritrea Institute of Technology exerted efforts on designing a first of its kind project. This 11 membered group of students from the department of Engineering has made discussions on what area they should focus in working their senior project. In the course making some researches, they said “One among us came with the idea of making a plan for a museum in the shape of Shida. We tried our best to make its exterior view the same as the real Shida as much as possible.”
The initiative they took in drafting a plan is really to be admired. They just wanted not to make a simple design for the sake of making designs or drawing plans. They just set out to make a project of profound meaning. Instead of constructing an ordinary building, we said “Why not construct a unique building in harmony with our history and identity?” is what they said to any observer who poses a question as regards the motive behind working on such a project. Constructing a museum in the shape of Shida is indeed a very brilliant idea. This is in fact constructing an abstract building without disturbing the internal and external shape of Shida (a plastic sandal).
They have already came up with the idea of constructing a museum in the shape of a plastic sandal, but what are the sections to be included within the museum makes one more curious. The students planned the project to hold three sections. The front part of the Shida Museum would consist a two story building that covers a bigger dimension area to hold remnant items from the struggle for independence. Whereas the hinder part of the Shida is designed to be a four story building that comprises two sections that could hold traditional and cultural items such as relics and archeological findings from different historical areas as well as items that depict the traditional livelihood of the country’s nine ethnic groups. As the students wanted their project to represent the country history of national dignity they reserved a large area to be a center that preserves historical items of the struggle for independence. They said “It is important to notice that we gave a bigger dimension area to the history of the struggle for independence and safeguarding the nation.”
A short cut linkage that could connect the two buildings was needed so as to enable visitors of the museum move from one section of the museum to the other as fast as possible. Since they planed the project to be a museum, they had to consult experts from the National Museum. They elaborated this idea saying; “In the course of drafting the plan, we consulted the National Museum to ensure that the plan meets the required standards. Based on the guidelines obtained, we included the construction of a basement to be a laboratory as well as a cool and well ventilated room.”
There was also an issue of location. Finally, the students identified a good location and decided that the museum needs to be situated on high hill around Mai-Chot. The location will provide the audience with a view of goodscenery and a bird’s eye view of Asmara. Apart from its aesthetic beauty, the area of construction was selected for its rocky nature is advantageous for firm foundation. All in all, it took them a total of nine months for the finalization of the project.
According to this plan, the museum will have a restaurant and other recreation centers. Also according to the planners of this project, the Shida Museum meets the required standards, what remains is its implantation. The group is very optimistic to see the project implanted on the ground with the assistance of sponsors.
The 2012 graduates of the Civil Engendering are thankful of the assistance architects from the Ministry of Public Works offered, collaborations of EIT, instructors in the engineering department, the National museum, NUEYS, Segen Construction Company and others who contributed their share towards the finalization of the project.
So basically some students are designing a muesuem that looks like this shoe: called a Shida. It was the shoe used by the majority of soldiers during the Eritrean Revolution which is why its so significant.
__________________ Where my Heart, Roots, and Home are; ERITREA