WORK Architecture Co. (WORKac) has won an international competition for the 2014 Summit of the African Union Assembly Hall in Libreville, Gabon. The New York—based firm’s winning entry, dubbed
L'Assemblée Radieuse (Radiant Assembly), uses passive cooling strategies to ventilate its program of conference space, dining facilities, and an Assembly Hall, the latter of which takes the form of a flexible 1000-seat auditorium. Three open-air interior courtyards, each planted with native species, are lined with African limestone louvers that allow further ventilation into the structure; similar louvers also wrap the building exterior. A sloping, light-colored roof both deflects heat and collects rainwater, which recirculates through a waterfall before being re-used within the facility.
The fast-track project will be a team effort led by WORKac, which will collaborate with Epstein on the design and production, with Arup providing services including M/E/P and acoustical engineering, sustainable design, and theater consulting. Robert Silman Associates will oversee the structural engineering, and Tillotson Design Associates will design lighting for the Assembly Hall. WORKac expects to break ground in February 2013, with project completion by June 2014.