|Main Floor Plan|
|Limestone Lined Oval Garden Courtyard|
Moving around all the elegant curved spaces is made possible via semi-enclosed, shaded “philosopher’s paths” which link the garden courtyards. This fluid and interconnected promenade offers flexible and informal spaces for walking, thinking and meeting while taking in striking views of the surrounding hillside as well as the landscape and sea beyond.
|The “philosopher’s path”|
|along the promenade|
|A very lush courtyard with rain-waterfall|
|yet another lush courtyard|
|ancillary conference facilities|
|a smaller auditorium|
|A lovely ‘green’ conference auditorium|
|Models showing how all the spaces relate|
In the development of this masterpiece (in my opinion) WORKac was also heavily influenced by Libreville’s vibrant history of modernism, drawing inspiration from the work of Marcello D’Olivo, an Italian architect and one of the earliest proponents of “ecological urbanism”. He was responsible for Libreville’s master plan as well as the design of many iconic structures, one of which is the spiral sculpture at the Place de la Paix.
“We wanted to tap into that incredible spirit of post-colonial optimism of the 1960′s and 1970′s which resulted in a unique take on modernism – one that acknowledged the climate (many incredible examples of bris-solei’s informed our design of the stone louvers, for example) and presented a progressive, forward–looking vision of Africa, without resorting to historicism or cliches about traditional Gabonese building forms that perhaps have little to do with the requirements and vision of the institutions of the contemporary city.”
A Culture of Ecology:
A series of iconic courtyards represent Gabon’s rich natural resources.
The iconic sloped roof of L’Assemblée Radieuse is oriented toward the city so it can be seen all the way from the heart of Libreville; its circular form signifies the cycle of life and the environment and projects Gabon’s ecological consciousness to the world at large.
Louvers made of African Limestone provide maximum shade and increased energy performance; courtyards provide natural ventilation; light-colored materials reflect the sun’s rays for thermal efficiency; the sloped roof directs rainwater through a courtyard waterfall and into a treatment reservoir for reuse; solar panels provide energy for the building’s hot water.
I can’t call this impressive, because I’ll be doing the designers a disservice. I’ll rather say that this is and will be one of the many iconic landmarks that will define the future of both Gabon as well as the African Urban Landscape, much like the Eiffel Tower does France, or the Burj does Dubai. Its symbolic, and this seldom happens, its not commonplace, this to me is History in the making. With Construction having begun I look forward to something just as great as what the rendering depict. Kudos Workac and Well done Gabon.