Featured Image Source: Dylan Walters, Under Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/dylwalters/4351369771/
The Flagstaff House, also known as the Golden Jubilee House, is one of the architectural highlights in Accra. The building is the presidential palace and the office of the president. The Flagstaff house represents the executive branch of the government and the most influential person in Ghana.
The building was completed in 2009 at an estimated cost of 45 million dollars. 15 million more dollars than was expected. The construction was funded by a loan from the Indian government. The Indian government also oversaw the construction of the building with Ghanaian subcontractors. The office of the president did not move into the building until 2013 due to political controversies.
The building, like all expensive buildings in a developing nation, was met with a fair amount of protest. It was said that this money could have been better used to provide services to the many rural poor citizens.
The building’s shape was inspired by the Golden Stool of the Ashanti people. It is one of the most important representations of the divine nature of the king. The building is made up of four buildings that are connected at the top with an air bridge. The base of each building is around 19×19 meters wide and tapers towards the top. This unique shape creates the stool. On the top of the building, there is an iron framework which curves at the edges to give the stool its seat.
The building is mainly constructed of steel and glass. Glass is used as a climate curtain that covers the whole building. These smooth lines are juxtaposed with the very orthogonal, very earthy building behind it. This building is made up of 4 layers. They are the actual residences and offices of the president and give the building its brownish colour.
The building complex is situated on Liberation Road and has monumental gardens surrounding it. It also has a large red carpet looking street tiles that lead to the entrance of the building. The building is a modern attempt at monumental architecture and uses classical design elements and ideas to create a building that shows the culture of the people in whose name the president gets its power.
Source: Wikipedia (Golden Stool), Wikipedia (The Flagstaff House), ARCG (Flagstaff House), Google Maps