The cathedral will have an auditorium capable of seating 5,000 as well as the requisite chapels, and a baptistery. The site will also house a music school, an art gallery, and a museum dedicated to the Bible.
The design of the cathedral reflects the art and culture of Ghanaian ethnic groups; the high pitched and staggered roof is reminiscent of Akan inspired architecture and the facade will be concave and decorated with timber in imitation of Ashanti royal stools. The architect for the project is the British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, who also designed the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Drawing reference from both Christian symbolism and traditional Ghanaian heritage such as the nation’s seat of power the Stool, as well as the shade of celestial authority -the Boaman ceremonial canopies and the Tabernacle. The new cathedral takes these symbols of royal and religious veneration and democratises them from the individual to the people.
The cathedral will be situated within 14 acres of newly landscaped gardens adjacent to Osu Cemetery. It 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 collaborate with some of the most celebrated and progressive Ghanaian and African artists to create the cathedral’s religious adornment and furnishings. A new ceremonial route and landscape will be linking the Cathedral site to Ghana’s prominent, celebratory landmarks – Independence Square, Osu Cemetery, the State House and Africa Unity Circle. 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. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance has disclosed that the proposed National Cathedral will cost $100m. He said the government will be financing 20 percent of the proposed cost. The government will be committing $20 million to the project.
The key clients’ success criteria for the project are as follows:
❖ General specification – highest specification required in transforming the station to be fit for the 21st Century and a place that its passengers deserve; one that reflects modern and forward thinking architecture and people.
❖ Time scale – very tight with considerable financial loss if delayed.
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