One Airport Square, Ghana

The ground floor is set up as a public square, open to the city and its community. The scale and the morphology of the square enhance its urban presence as a place for culture, meeting and socializing. Underground floors were configured considering the typography to the site and present technical solutions for structural earthquake resistance.

Inspired by the geometry of natural elements, the architecture has a striking exoskeleton design, which reminds of the diamond-patterned bark of Ghana’s palm trees. The project was designed based on a detailed analysis of the site, the topographical and optimal orientation to become a point of reference and example for the new generation of office buildings in West Africa.

Overhangs optimized to provide shading from intensive solar radiation, reducing energy requirements for cooling. Large shaded public areas foster informal business interactions. OAS is a nine-story building for offices, plus a ground floor designed for commercial activities.

A defining element consists in the reinforced concrete structure, the inclined piers of which confer greater rigidity upon the building and the overhangs, while also featuring as a decorative motif for the front. The form and layouts of the office block are the outcome of ongoing design work based on the functional requirements of the principal and the formal, structural and energy requirements specified by the multi-disciplinary design group.

The goal is savings of 30-40% compared to the standards of local buildings, through strategies that reduce mechanical systems and include natural lighting and ventilation, solar shadings for controlling sunlight and heat gain, rainwater harvesting, and a central atrium that acts as a buffer zone to aid natural cooling.

A pilot project set to become one of the city’s most prominent design landmarks for its energy and construction strategies that integrate innovative concrete technologies with local culture and climate. One Airport Square is situated in Accra’s newest commercial district, just minutes away from the Kuduka International Airport.

One Airport Square is a joint venture between Actis and Myma Belo Osagie of Boston Investments Limited, developed by Laurus Development Partners. Politecnica are the structural engineers behind the masterpiece which was designed by the award-winning sustainability architect, Mario Cucinella.

Since the pillars have very different diagonal angles and lengths, their formworks have been designed, dividing each pillar into three parts: the central part consists of blocks of standard length, made of two assembled modular metal slates; the two terminal parts, referred to as “shoes”, are made of two profiled metal sheets bolted together.

The angle of the inclined pillars has been designed to balance the horizontal forces generated by the non-alignment of the axes of the pillars themselves; within each slab there are struts and tie rods of large diameter and anchorage nodes. The design was carried out using BIM software Tekla that has been particularly successful to allow the workmen to correctly position the formwork and the steel work.

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