This stunning solar powered gateway will soon welcome visitors and residents to Abuja, Nigeria. Evoking the shape of the traditional Nigerian bow harp, the design connects the new Abuja Airport to the city proper on the opposite side of the freeway and comes complete with green roofs, a giant solar canopy and bricks made from the local laterite clay. Conceived by Ehrlich Architects, the design was recently crowned winner of an international competition to create a gateway for the capital city.

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Dubbed the “living loom”, Ehrlich Architect‘s design symbolizes the weaving together of the country’s many different people. The sweeping gateway brings together the city of Abjua’s modern atmosphere with the cultural heritage of Nigeria as a whole. On one side of the gateway is a public space where the arm of the loom reaches toward the sky. Colorful flags are tied to the cables that hold up the suspension bridge over the freeway. The plan also features an amphitheater and public space with a photovoltaic canopy to provide power and shade visitors from the sun. A green roof covers nearby buildings making them melt into the surrounding greenery.

Abuja was built starting in the late 1980’s to replace Nigeria’s existing capital, Lagos, which was becoming overcrowded. It is a city with a modern history and is home the brand new Abuja Airport. Steven Ehrlich worked with local firm Triad Associates to design the new project. Bringing together the shapes of the past and the technology of the future this gateway will surely offer an impressive “hello.”

+ Ehrlich Architects

Via The Architect’s Newspaper