L’Assemblée Radieuse, Gabon

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WORK Architecture Company has won an international competition to design a new Assembly Hall in Libreville, Gabon.

The design incorporates Gabon’s vibrant ecology to create a striking expression of President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s vision of a Gabon Vert (Green Gabon). L’Assemblée Radieuse will serve as an architectural landmark situated amidst the stunning hillsides of the capital city, reflecting Gabon’s emerging leadership in the region’s political and environmental affairs, while celebrating the country’s resources and its potential to lead Africa into a new era.

The building will harness the best in active and passive sustainable design.

1) Preservation and Sustainability: The site’s former structures were strategically
wrapped to conserve resources and impart a sense of historic continuity.

2) A Culture of Ecology: A series of iconic courtyards represent Gabon’s rich natural resources.

3) Sustainable Technology: Louvers made of African Limestone provide maximum shade and increased energy performance; courtyards provide natural ventilation; light-colored materials reflect the sun’s rays for thermal efficiency; the sloped roof directs rainwater through a courtyard waterfall and into a treatment reservoir for reuse; solar panels provide energy for the building’s hot water.

4) Visibility: The iconic sloped roof of L’Assemblée Radieuse is oriented toward
the city so it can be seen all the way from the heart of Libreville; its circular
form signifies the cycle of life and the environment and projects Gabon’s ecological consciousness to the world at large.

The building organizes a vast program of conference, assembly and dining facilities around three carved courtyards – each representing one of Gabon’s rich and diverse ecosystems. This angled roof becomes one of the building’s most prominent façades, allowing views up from the city below to the courtyard-gardens and to the rooftop reflecting pool – taking the elliptical form of the auditorium below.

The 1000-seat auditorium is designed to divide easily into two separate spaces, with each potential configuration retaining optimal sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics. Additional key spaces arranged around the central auditorium include a triple-height banquet hall as well as a number of smaller auditoria and meeting rooms.

Circulation within L’Assemblée Radieuse is organized by the garden courtyards which are linked by a semi-enclosed, shaded “philosopher’s path.” This continuous promenade provides flexible and informal meeting spaces for walking, thinking and discussing the urgent matters of the day, connecting the three gardens and providing striking views over the Cité De La Démocratie, the capital Libreville, as well as of the landscape and sea beyond.