Flying the flag for Nigeria

James
07 Jul 2010

Dramatic new city gateway for the city of Abuja

The New Abuja City Gate provides a dynamic entryway to Nigeria’s new capital city, serving multiple symbolic and practical functions. The iconic design of the Gate’s tower and pedestrian bridge creates an international landmark that points the way toward a modern future, while embracing the country’s heritage.

The bridge’s pylon and structural cables can be seen as an immense loom, metaphorically weaving together Nigeria’s many different peoples into a single fabric. The cables suspending the bridge can display a changing array of flags, of the Nigerian states, African or world nations. Pedestrians animating the bridge in their brightly-coloured clothing are 'threads' on this Living Loom. The form of the Gate also evokes the traditional Nigerian bow harp, with its gentle curves and strings. Local laterite clay formed into pavers make up the walking surface of the bridge. The concrete outer surfaces are painted to match the clay, their hue reminiscent of archaeological terra cotta Nok sculptures found in the earth around Abuja.

The pedestrian bridge connects the two sides of the site: the formal reception hall and plaza to the north and the 'casual' elements to the south. The formal side is built on top of a hill with views of Central Abuja while the casual side with its planted roofs, virtually blends into the landscape. The amphitheater, encircled by a sloping path that links the bridge and lower plaza, has a canopy of photovoltaic panels that shades the seating area by day and powers the lighting of the bridge at night.

This project is a joint venture betwen Ehrlich Architects and Triad Associates

Key Facts

Architecture
Nigeria
Civic Buildings

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