[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]n a ceremony marking Ghana’s 61st year as an independent nation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo today unveiled plans for a new National Cathedral of Ghana designed by Adjaye Associates, the architecture firm led by British- Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye, OBE.
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. The Cathedral will be situated within 14 acres of newly landscaped gardens adjacent to Osu Cemetary and 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.
A new ceremonial route and landscape 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.
Of the new national landmark, President Akufo-Addo said;
“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.”
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. Drawing inspiration 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.
Speaking of the unveiling Sir David commented;
“It is an immense honour to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and important 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.”