Top 10 Architecture Buildings in Ghana
After Ghana gained independence in 1957, many students interested in architecture opted for a college in Europe or the United States. Upon their return, most of the projects they embarked on featured foreign materials and building techniques.
This is why some buildings in Ghana follow the Bauhaus style, which was common in post-war Europe. Buildings constructed in the late 1950s to 1970s were mainly functional and economical. Today, when choosing building materials to use, architects are also looking at sustainability.
Today, more students of architecture are enrolling in University of Ghana and Central University College, Accra. As more architects emerge, so has creativity, which has focused on the use of locally available building materials, such as wood.
As modern architecture takes centre stage in major cities, such as Accra, some of the iconic buildings have been in existence since the colonial era. These include the slave castles, forts, and Victorian-style towers.
Ghana has a blend of ancient and modern architecture that tells a story of its past and the transformations since then. Futuristic designs are also being adopted through the dynamic use of space, colour, and motifs. Impressive architectural buildings created by some of the most brilliant architects are found across the ten regions of the country.
The Villaggio Vista is made up of four buildings, including the tallest residential property in Ghana, and indeed West Africa. The construction was multi-phased and was completed in 2011. Three of the buildings are between 8 and 15 storeys high. The fourth is 30-storeys high and has a commercial unit and apartments.
The high-end apartments have in-house facilities, such as rooftop swimming pools, gym, and concierge. The Villaggio Vista is popular amongst the growing middle class and expatriates. This design won the 2012 CTBUH Award for the Best Tall Building in Africa.
Even though the apartments are reserved for the few who can enjoy it, this building has transformed the Accra skyline and is a visual joy that can be enjoyed by anyone living in or visiting Ghana.
The National Theatre
This building was constructed between 1990 and 1992, a gift for the people of Ghana from the Chinese. The presence of the National Theatre paved the way for the creative industry. Today, the National Theatre is a multi-functional building, where people congregate to watch traditional dances, plays, and concerts. Ghana’s National Symphony Orchestra uses the National Theatre as its official venue.
Although the National Theatre looks out of place compared to the other modern buildings that have sprouted in the area, its unique architecture gives it character befitting of the location. The dome-shaped roof resembles the Sydney Opera House, so it is a landmark often used for people visiting the area for the first time.
Cape Coast Castle
This building dates back to the 15th Century and tells a story of the slavery that took place in the Gold Coast. Ghana has retained this historical building as a site to remind tourists and locals of the price of slavery. Ghana’s coastline is about 560km long and has the highest concentration of castles and slave ports in the world. This is primarily because this was a major departure hub for millions of slaves.
Cape Coast Castle is eerily similar to other buildings used for a similar function, including the Christiansburg Castle in Accra, and Elmina Castle. The walls, dungeons, narrow hallways, and tunnels are quite stunning.
West Hills Mall
Opened on October 2014, West Hills Mall is like no other mall in Africa. It is the largest in West Africa and has several unique features. The construction cost about $93 million, and the floor area is approximately 27,700m2.
The second phase of development is expected to add 7000m2, bringing the total floor space to about 34,000m2. The mall currently has 67 stores, including a cinema complex, banks, restaurants, and various specialty stores selling locally produced and imported products.
The design is futuristic and aims to limit crowds on any floor through the deliberate use of space. The mall is broken down to three sections, east, west and central zones, and are interlinked with a central isle. The Western and Eastern zones are mainly made up of shops and anchors, while the central zone has recreational areas, a food court, and a courtyard.
World Bank Accra
The World Bank building in Accra is a masterpiece. It has adequate space, has a stunning driveway, and a parking lot that adds value to the building. The simple design can easily be overlooked but is the charm behind the building. The space was specifically designed for two different entities, the World Bank and IFC.
The details of the four-storey structure show a contemporary representation of the kente weaving culture, one of Ghana’s treasured traditions. This adds the cultural and regional element to the building, making it easy to identify.
Accra Central Mosque
The Accra Central Mosque is the largest in Accra and is quite similar to the Turkish Blue Mosque. This $10 million ultra-modern project was also financed by a group of people based in Istanbul.
The mosque stands at a height of 33 meters and is 19 meters in diameter. The domes are designed to look like a palace and are of the defining features of this incredible design. The designers took into account the large Muslim community living in the area when addressing the issue of space and comfort. The earthenware, marbles, and ceramic tiles give the mosque a modern futuristic look that is likely to last for decades.
Movenpick Ambassador Hotel
The Movenpick Ambassador Hotel instantly became an iconic building the moment it stood in place of the historic Ambassador Hotel. This majestic seven-storey tower has a basement, a technical floor and a two-level podium. The architect focused on functionality through the proper use of space.
This five-star hotel has 35 serviced apartments, luxurious rooms, a presidential floor, and executive suites. The lush landscape serves as a backdrop visible to all rooms. This is one of the selling points that make this building one of the best architectural designs in Ghana.
The design easily leads guests to various sections of the building, including the upscale retail and office centres. Ballroom, restaurants, spa, tennis courts, swimming pool, and other business facilities.
Stanbic Heights, Airport City, Accra
The Stanbic Heights officially opened its doors in 2015. It is one of the buildings in Ghana whose design stands out. Besides the fact the design is strategic is serving the business community, the use of glass in large sections of the building brings in natural light and adds to the beauty of the building that has helped transform Ghana’s skyline.
Stanbic heights is located close to the airport, making it a genius investment in what is easily known as prime real estate. Several businesses, including restaurants, cafes, specialty stores, and banks are found within the building.
The architect used space-saving techniques and energy-saving materials for construction. So, the building is not just functional but sustainable as well. A 17,000m2 space was set aside for a hotel. The massive parking area also makes this building a favorite for many locals and visitors.
The Flagstaff House was commissioned in 2007 and completed in 2009. It was built to replace the Osu Castle and has been an imposing building since then. It is also known as the Golden Jubilee House and represents the executive branch of the government. The presidential palace and office of the president are located in this building.
Its architectural design was borrowed from the golden stool of the Ashanti people, natives of the Ashanti region, which is modern-day Ghana. The Golden Stool represented the divine nature of the King, a befitting image for a present-day building where the head of state sits.
Flagstaff House is made up of four building inter-connected with an air bridge at the top. The 19×19 meters wide base of each building tapers towards the top, into a shape similar to a stool. The architect added an iron framework with curved edges at the top of the building.
The edges depict the seat atop which the stool sits. Even with the rich history behind this building design, features and materials used leave no doubt that this is a modern structure representing the changing face of Ghana’s real estate.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
This magnificent church building has a total floor area of 17,500 square feet. Its defining feature is the golden statue of a trumpet blowing angel at the top of the building. This building is even more significant because it is the second of three temples in Africa. It serves members from the neighbouring countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Benin as well. Other facilities in the church include two sealing rooms and two ordinance rooms.