The Ghana National Cathedral is a unique piece of structure within the parliament areas in Accra, Ghana. Architect Sir David Adjaye, of Adjaye Associates, has provided the nation with a new building, combining religion, democracy, a museum, library, crypt and a processional direction for national occasions within the landscape of this development.
A key project for the redevelopment of the North Ridge district in central Accra, Ghana
The main cathedral will house 5000 people with a further capacity for 10,000 more in the wings to the sides of the podium. The combination of its sheer scale, complex geometry and large spans adds to the engineering challenge of delivering a building in a seismic prone area, making it a unique project across Ghana’s emerging landscape.
Ghana National Cathedral’s main building is split into a semi-buried concrete basement box, housing a multitude of uses including a crypt, museum, chapels, events spaces, prayer rooms, office spaces, car park and more. The concept of this building is to design it in a way that maximises the use of local labour and products, whilst still achieving the architect’s aspirations and the quality befitting.
The podium level acts as a roof for the basement, where the main altar and grand hall exist. Above this level, there is a 100m wide, upper tier structure that is fixed to circular reinforced concrete cores, providing additional seating with a superior vantage point to the main altar, all within a half crescent shape.
The tent shaped roof, inspired by Ghanaian rich history, is framed by deep steel girder-trusses, parametrically designed to maximise structural efficiency whilst fulfilling the architectural aspiration, of creating an 80m wide column-free space. Exposed concrete panels drape from the edge of the roof serving two main functions – being the canvases for future artworks and contributing to the structural performance of the canopy as a whole.
This project is set to position Ghana on the world stage of structures as it will be an integral piece of architecture for locals and visitors alike.