Dezeen Magazine

National Cathedral of Ghana by David Adjaye

David Adjaye unveils plans for National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra

British architect David Adjaye has revealed designs for a new cathedral in Ghanaian capital Accra, which will host a 5,000-seat auditorium beneath a dramatic concave roof.

The cathedral will be Adjaye Associate's first major project in Accra, where it has previously only worked on private residential projects. The practice is planning to open its own office there imminently to cater to its growing clientele, adding to its existing bases in London and New York.

Adjaye – who was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents – has already completed a host of buildings on the continent, including a children's cancer treatment centre in Rwanda and a plant-covered apartment block in Johannesburg.

The National Cathedral of Ghana will be constructed beside the the city's Osu Cemetery, set within 5.5 hectares of landscaped gardens.

"It is an immense honour to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and import to my home country," said Adjaye.

"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."

The design concept is for a building "where religion, democracy and local tradition are seamlessly and symbolically intertwined", referencing Ghanaian culture throughout.

The structure will be topped by an ascending series of pitched roofs and feature a concave front elevation. Its entrance has been built with slats of timber, and is reached via a set of sweeping stairs.

Serving as a place of worship and a community hub, inside will contain a series of chapels, a baptistery, a 5,000-seat auditorium, a music school, art gallery, and Africa's first bible museum.

The practice has also selected several local artists to collaboratively produce furnishings and religious adornments for the cathedral's interiors.

The project will also see the development of a new ceremonial route that will link the cathedral to other landmarks nearby, including Accra's State House and Independence Square.

Having just opened a museum of espionage in New York, David Adjaye's firm a number of projects currently in the pipeline.

This includes an extinct species memorial on the UK's Isle of Portland, expected to complete in 2019, and a 66-storey skyscraper in Manhattan, which is set to complete the following year.

More images

National Cathedral of Ghana by David Adjaye
Roof plan
National Cathedral of Ghana by David Adjaye
Long section
National Cathedral of Ghana by David Adjaye
Cross section