In celebration of Ghana’s 61st Independence Day today, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced plans for a new national landmark to be designed by David Adjaye and his firm, Adjaye Associates, in the nation’s capital city, Accra.
Currently named the National Cathedral of Ghana, spaces within the multi-faith structure will accommodate more than just religious functions, housing community and even governmental programs such as presidential inaugurations, state funerals, and national thanksgiving services, according to a statement by President Akufo-Addo. The complex will consist of several chapels, a baptistery, a 5,000-seat auditorium, a music school, an art gallery, flexible work and practice rooms, and a store. It will also house a new institution: the Bible Museum and Documentation Center.
Situated on a 14-acre plot, the cathedral will be surrounded by landscaped gardens that will eventually extend into the city and link celebrated civic spaces, such as Independence Square, Osu Cemetery, the State House, and Africa Unite Circle, to the cathedral.
“It is an immense honor to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and import to my home country,” said Adjaye. The project is slated to be among the firm’s largest projects in terms of square footage based on its current scope and program, which are still being finalized.
To date, Adjaye’s largest completed building is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened to huge public excitement in Washington, D.C. in 2016. The newest Smithsonian Institution museum, that project recently won top honors at the Design Museum in London’s Beazley Designs of the Year as the overall winner and best work of architecture. Adjaye himself was recently received the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, one of the U.S.’s most prestigious awards given annually by the University of Virginia.