The Design philosophy is “The African living the Unity in Diversity Principle”. The African is likened to the Coconut, the Embryo – egg, the Mask and the African Shield.The Coconut although having a tough and rough shell on the outside protects and hides a transparent cream and sweet and crystal water. Similarly, the African has an uncorrupted mind and a pure heart within. The Egg which symbolizes life hides all the mystery and magic of nature. So does the African with the African Spirits. The Mask contains all the pain and joy along with the wisdom of the ancient and has silently endured History. So does the African.The African shield has always protected Mother Africa from foreign invasions. So has the African.The Coconut, the Egg, the Mask and the African Shield together have generated the form of the building which stands as one symbol - the Ovoid symbolizing Unity, yet made up of various natural elements – Water, Air, Earth and Vegetation harmoniously blended together.The simplicity of the building is striking. The Chamber, the centre for direction and decision making is enveloped and shielded by the ofﬁces and supporting areas where the working takes place. The exterior skin is hard and rough and is a trellis made up of typical African wood. The interior skin is transparent and made up of glazed panels.A limpid lake ending into a waterfall, reminiscent of the Victoria Falls welcomes the visitors, brings in the freshness of Africa and helps to cool the building. The chamber is covered with a dome made of lightweight shell structure, clad with a second skin of frosted glass. Hidden lights illuminate it after sunset.
Location: South Africa
Size: 255,151 sqm
Collab Architect: NICOLAS GAYRAUD