Project of La­gos De­sign Firm Short­listed for World Ar­chi­tec­ture News Award

THISDAY - - PROPERTY NEWS -

The ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign of the Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre in Abuja, a project owned by Galaxy Back­bone Plc, has been an­nounced as one of the short­listed project de­signs for the 2014 World Ar­chi­tec­ture News Award in the com­mer­cial cat­e­gory.

The build­ing de­vel­oped from con­cep­tion by De­signGenre Con­sul­tants, a La­gos based firm of con­sul­tants in ar­chi­tec­ture, plan­ning, ur­ban and in­te­rior de­sign, is among the fifty-seven en­tries re­ceived in the com­mer­cial cat­e­gory of the yearly award. The In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre project was se­lected among the best Six from seven­teen en­tries un­der the ‘Fu­ture Projects’ group.

Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, De­signGenre Con­sul­tants, An­thony Okoye said in designing the Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre in Abuja the com­pany de­sired to cre­ate a pur­pose-built ed­i­fice to func­tion as a tech­no­log­i­cal and busi­ness hub as well as pro­vide suit­able of­fices for the Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­no­log­i­cal Devel­op­ment ven­ture.

The World Ar­chi­tec­ture News com­mer­cial Award (WAN), he dis­closed, “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. It at­tracts en­tries from all over the world and be­ing short­listed among many great de­signs is in­deed a great achieve­ment for the project.”

The build­ing, which is lo­cated along Kur Mo­hammed Way in the Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict of Abuja, is on a 18962.73sqm rec­tan­gu­lar site where the Net­work Op­er­at­ing Cen­tre (NOC) of Galaxy Back­bone Plc, in­clud­ing a dish farm is sit­u­ated. The build­ing was meant to be de­signed around the NOC with min­i­mum dis­rup­tion to the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties. Part of the re­quire­ments of the project was to make pro­vi­sion for rental of­fices, of­fices for Galaxy Back­bone staff, data stor­age cen­tre among other fa­cil­i­ties.

The Project Ar­chi­tect, De­signGenre, John-Cross Okafor, ex­plained that the com­pany was able to blend the in­tri­cate project into a seam­less flow of struc­tures which im­pressed the World Ar­chi­tec­ture News Award panel.

He said, “The build­ing with a to­tal area of 18962.73sqm 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, Okafor said. Ac­cord­ing to him, 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.

“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

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