NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO,
President of the Republic & Commander in Chief
of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The construction of the National Cathedral represents a significant
moment in our country's history.
As a deeply religious nation, the Cathedral provides a historic opportunity to put God at the centre of our nation's affairs, and serves as a symbol of our eternal and continuing gratitude to Him for the blessings He continues to shower and bestow on our nation.
Conceptually, the National Cathedral represents a vision of a society which is, firstly, dependent on God, and whose aspirations are captured by the opening words of our National Anthem: God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong!
The National Cathedral gives practical expression to this vision of a society mediated by the Almighty, and represents a sacred space for the nation. The Cathedral, thus, addresses a missing link in our national architecture, i.e. church for national purposes. It will be an interdenominational house of worship and prayer, and will serve as the venue for formal state occasions of a religious nature, such as the inauguration of Presidents, state funerals, national thanksgiving services, amongst others.
The National Cathedral will be a unifying monument around which to elevate shared conversations on faith and on national transformation. It will also serve as a rallying platform to promote deep national conversations on how, collectively, we can build the progressive and prosperous Ghana we desire.
May the Almighty strengthen and enable us to arise and build to His Glory, and to the edification of our nation and all our people.
Ground-breaking Design Born of Christian Architectural Principals
The design of the National Cathedral carves an identity for architecture rooted in African culture, in Ghanaian heritage and is a ground-breaking architectural expression of African Christianity. The concept for the National Cathedral is born of Christian architectural principles. These principals frequently articulate proportion and orientation in multiples of twelve as a reference to the twelve apostles. The National Cathedral's draped roof form draws from the great symbols of the chieftaincy institution and culture, such as the opulent boaman ceremonial canopies and umbrellas, traditionally used to shade and protect royalty. The National Cathedral takes these symbols of royal and religious veneration ad democratizes them from the individual to the people.
The Cathedral's color palette and Adinkra-influenced gardens express a natural harmony and countenance to both Christian orthodoxy and Ghanaian cultural traditions. Three main colors are utilized throughout the scheme. Red, black and white reference the Holy Trinity whilst speaking of the Ghanaian nation - Red representing the blood, black the spirit and heart, and white symbolizing the power of the Ghanaian people. Red has also been adopted for the new state ceremonial route connecting the Cathedral with Independence Square.
Design: Architectural Expression of African Christianity
Sir David Adjaye OBE
Sir David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Adjaye was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents and his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities.
In 1994, he set up his first office, where his ingenious use of materials and his sculptural ability established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. He reformed his studio as Adjaye Associates in 2000. The firm now has offices in London, New York and Accra with projects in the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in fall of 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times.
Other prominent completed work include the Idea Stores in London (2005), which were credited with pioneering a new approach to library services, the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (2010), the Sugar Hill mixed-use social housing scheme in Harlem, New York (2015); and the Aishti Foundation retail and art complex in Beirut (2015).
Prominent ongoing projects include a new home for the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, a new headquarters building for the International Finance Corporation in Dakar, and the just-announced National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London.
In 2017, Adjaye was recently knighted by Her Majesty the Queen for services to Architecture, following the previous award of an OBE in 2007. The same year, he was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of the year by TIME magazine. He has additionally received the Design Miami/ Artist of the Year title in 2011, the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013 and the 2016 Panerai London Design Medal from the London Design Festival.
National Museum of African American History, Washington
A Physical Embodiment of Unity, Harmony and Spirituality
A New Landmark for the Nation
Physical embodiment of unity, harmony and spirituality
Conceived as a physical embodiment of unity, harmony and spirituality, the Ghana National Cathedral will be the nation's ceremonial landmark, Ghana's mother Church, where all denominations are welcomed to gather, worship and celebrate in spiritual accord.
Keeping a strong link to our culture
A place of inspiration, reflection and common devotion, the National Cathedral will be a rich, authentic celebration of Ghanaian tradition and culture, a metaphor that speaks of the unification of the West African regions, identity and collective Kingship.