Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye‘s firm Adjaye Associates has unveiled plans for a new National Cathedral for his home country Ghana – the National Cathedral of Ghana will be built in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The new Cathedral will be the first major project of Adjaye Associates in Accra, where the firm previously worked on some residential projects.
Earlier this month, the new plans were released in a ceremony marking Ghana’s 61st year as an independent nation by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Adjaye’s new cathedral also features a new ceremonial route and landscape that will also be gifted to the Nation – linking the Cathedral site to Ghana’s prominent, celebratory landmarks – Independence Square, Osu Cemetery, the State House and Africa Unity Circle.
Situated within 14 acres (56,655 square meters) of newly landscaped gardens adjacent to Osu Cemetery, the Cathedral is conceived as a physical embodiment of unity, harmony and spirituality.
“The National Cathedral of Ghana will be the nation’s ceremonial landmark where all faiths will be welcomed to gather, worship, and celebrate in spiritual accord,” said Adjaye Associates in a project description.
The National Cathedral of Ghana will house a series of impressive chapels, a baptistery, a 5000-seat two-level auditorium, a grand central hall, music school, choir rehearsal, art gallery, shop and multi-use spaces. It will also be home to Africa’s first Bible Museum and Documentation Centre, dedicated to Christianity and nation-building in Ghana.
For the interiors, Adjaye Associates will commission some of the most celebrated and progressive Ghanaian and African artists that will collaborate with the practice to create the Cathedral’s religious adornment and furnishings.
“It is an immense honour to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and import to my home country. I have sought to craft a building that not only understands its landscape but one that will be unique to Accra and the Ghanaian Nation,” said Adjaye.
Adjaye Associates’ concept for the new National Cathedral establishes a unique, 21st century landmark where religion, democracy and local tradition are seamlessly and symbolically intertwined. Inspired from both Christian symbolism and Ghanaian heritage, the design celebrates Ghanaian culture and speaks to the unification of the West African region and collective kinship.
The cathedral will serve simultaneously as a religious and a cultural institution, a new national landmark and a community hub for gathering and learning.“The Cathedral will address the missing link in our nation’s architecture by providing a Church of national purpose. It will be an inter-denominational house of worship and prayer, as well as serve as the venue for formal state occasions of a religious nature, such as presidential inaugurations, state funerals and national thanksgiving services,” added President Akufo-Addo.