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David Adjaye Designs a New National Cathedral for Ghana

Drawing inspiration from Christian symbolism and Ghanaian culture, Adjaye’s new cathedral will serve as a venue for both religious and secular gatherings, including state-sponsored celebrations.

Adjaye Associates’s design for the new National Cathedral of Ghana (all images courtesy Adjaye Associates)

On March 6, at a ceremony celebrating 61 years of Ghanaian independence from Britain, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced plans for a David Adjaye-designed National Cathedral of Ghana. The new, inter-denominational cathedral will be constructed on a 14-acre campus near the Osu Cemetery in central Accra, and will also include a series of chapels, a baptistery, auditorium, music school, art gallery, shop, and Bible museum “dedicated to Christianity and nation-building in Ghana,” according to an official release by Adjaye Associates.

Ghanaian-British starchitect Sir David Adjaye, best known for leading the design team for the popular National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, has more recently completed a spy museum in New York. He was also awarded the 2018 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture. “It is an immense honor to be granted the opportunity to contribute something of this scale and import to my home country,” Adjaye said in an official statement. “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.”

Adjaye Associates’s design for the new National Cathedral of Ghana

Drawing inspiration from both Christian symbolism and Ghanaian culture, Adjaye’s new cathedral will serve as a venue for both religious and secular gatherings, including state-sponsored celebrations, like “presidential inaugurations, state funerals and national thanksgiving services.”

For the interiors, Adjaye Associates is planning to 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.”

Although Ghana is officially a secular country, about 71% of its population identifies as Christian.

Adjaye Associates’s design for the new National Cathedral of Ghana
Adjaye Associates’s design for the new National Cathedral of Ghana
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