[dropcap size=big]N[/dropcap]igerian Architect Amadi Izuchukwu Magnus recently shared with us his design proposal for the unity fountain site in Abuja, where he seeks to create both an African and International Landmark. His design, which was also an entry for the 2017 inspireli awards, features a subtle dome which is roofed using panels of recycled bottle crates. Here’s a break down of the design proposal courtesy the architect.
How do we accommodate the need for civil right demonstration match with public social gathering? How do we convert a public green open park (Shagari Park) used only for human right and civic activities with groups likes “Bringbackourgirls” campaign (which is usually held around 5 pm), the Jan. 2, 2012 “Fuel subsidy removal” march, “Brekete family” march etc, to also accommodate public space and recreation.
The architectural design concept for Unity Fountain Dome responds to a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Nigeria. The proposition is to upgrade Unity Fountain site to its intended glory – an African and international landmark
The choose of unity foundation site located at the heart of Abuja CBD on the crossroad of two important axis – Transcorp Hilton Hotel and Millennium park, along the Shehu Shagari way with important structures like the federal secretariat, Eagle square, Federal ministries, Aso Rock Villa and the National Assembly, was to rehabilitate the existing park into a more accommodative place that can be used at any time of day regardless of the harsh sunny climate of Abuja with temperatures above 32°C, through the provision of a suspended perforated recycled dome roof that also extends into the surrounding environment, thus inspiring a sequence of public routes and squares in which the barriers between inside and outside are dissolved. These new space provide an important central venue in the city during civic match, festivals and celebrations and are cooled naturally when conditions allow. The dome which was also inspired by the African traditional village square giant tree provides a shaded structure for pedestrians to relax.
The design of the recycled bottle crate roof panels is based on dome forms, which reference both traditional African roofing style and Nigeria symbolic flag of green and white. The recycled roof panels are supported by high performance composite laminated wood exoskeleton dia-grid trusses, while the structural column supports are of reinforced concrete. The floor colors and space flow are inspired by the 36 states and 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The colors are means of giving everybody a sense of belonging with states’ name engraved their corresponding color code. These concepts will foster unity in diversity of colors and encourage social integration.
The form presents a powerful facility representative of its place, history and function. The emphasis of the design for the unity foundation dome focus on creating a platform where people can meet for recreational, civic match and commercial activities. An open, freely accessible suspended structure encompasses a combination of various functions, a controlled cycling route and an amphitheater facing the famous unity fountain which acts as a stage for various types of events. This combination of diverse functions adds to the diversity of Nigeria. The concept is simple and calm, with articulated free diverse spaces and interwoven functions allowing flexibility of space, movement and line of sight.
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