Monday, July 22, 2024

Ghana’s decision to build a national cathedral mocked

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

In 2015 British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye unveiled plans for a 100-bed paediatric cancer centre in Rwanda.

The Gahanga International Children’s Cancer Hospital was to be built on a four-hectare site in Gahanga, south of Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

The world’s most influential architecture, interiors and design magazine, Dezeen covered this then and its editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs spoke to Adjaye who said the hospital would be the first of its kind anywhere in Africa.

The Cancer centre designed by Adjaye for Rwanda in 2015

“It’s really important that techniques that are very commonplace in the West are also transferable to Africa, and that lessons learned on the ground in Africa inform the practice,” Adjaye was quoted as saying.

The project was to improve access to cancer treatment for children in the country.

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“The building aims to promote healing and recovery for the children and their families,” a statement from Adjaye Associates said.

In March this year, the same David Adjaye also revealed designs for a new cathedral in Ghana’s capital Accra, which will host a 5,000-seat auditorium beneath a dramatic concave roof.

The cathedral will be his first major project in Accra.

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

Inside view of the Cathedral

Adjaye said “It is an immense honour to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and import 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” he added.

The design concept according to Adjaye is for a building “where religion, democracy and local tradition are seamlessly and symbolically intertwined”.

But it is not Adjaye’s wonderful architectural designs that are becoming a major issue but the priorities of these two nations he has worked for.

Rwanda decided to have a children’s cancer treatment centre while Ghana went for a cathedral.

On social media Ghanaians who are critical of their government’s priority expressed outrage.

David Adjaye, the British-Ghanaian architect
















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