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Abuja office project shortlisted for 2014 World Architecture Award



The on-going National Information Technology Centre project in Abuja

AN office complex being developed by a Lagos-based firm architectural firm, Messrs Design Genre Consultants is among the 57 entries shortlisted for the 2014 World Architecture News commercial Award (WAN) in the commercial category.

The complex known as the National Information Technology Centre project is owned by Galaxy Backbone Plc and was selected among the best six from 17 entries under the ‘Future Projects’ group.

The building, located along Kur Mohammed Way in the Central Business District of Abuja sits on 18,962.73sqm rectangular site. WAN is regarded as the largest international Architecture awards programme as well as a major international competition that celebrates and promotes the best in international architecture for commercial use including offices, retails structure, hotels or tourism resorts among others.

“The building comprises three arms –the rental offices comprising of seven floors including the ground floor plus two levels of basement, offices for Galaxy Backbone made up of eight floors including the ground floor plus two levels of basement and the data centre which has six floors – four floors of data storage plus the ground floor for offices while the 6th floor is for restaurant /relaxation spot and two levels of basement below.

The Galaxy Backbone offices are connected to the Rental offices via a link bridge on two levels at the 4th and 5th floor supported by steel beams within a span of approximately 18.6m while the data centre and Galaxy Backbone offices are connected with link bridges which serve as the conference /meeting rooms on the 5th and 6th floor and are being separated by a courtyard of approximately 215sqm to allow for stack effect.

A critical challenge for the project was to have the existing structure built without interfering with the existing Network Operating centre and Dish farm”, according to the Managing Director, Anthony Okoye.

He said, the firm had to develop a form for the building and the road network that will wrap around the structures with walkways connecting them to the proposed building. His words: “A series of helical rings was designed around the centre to give it a “techish” feel and the dish farm reorganized both of which now serve as landscaping elements within the site.

The form was inspired by the site’s rectangular form and slope and the need to express inter-connectivity as a critical component of network which represents part of the Centre’s image.

Part of the sustainability principles adopted for the project, he restated includes, deep roof overhang to provide shade, solar panels over the roof to supply energy to offices and to power pumps for water circulation, emergency, external and night lights, and water heating system.

The design also include the creation of courtyard to enhance stack effect and provide shade, aluminum louvers to act as sun breakers, recessed windows for solar shading while also incorporating Green building elements such that green roof were provided over the link bridges to act as aesthetic improvement and cool the interior spaces among others.

All in all we are delighted at the outcome and the rave reviews,” he said, Okoye said in designing the National Information Technology Centre in Abuja the company desired to create a purpose-built edifice to function as the technological and business hub as well as provide suitable offices for the National Information Technological Development venture. 573wds

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