Elmina Heritage Bay: Commercial Tourism Enclave Redevelopment Scheme
The coastline of Ghana, from east to west, is lined with twenty-seven (27) no. forts and castles and the Central region alone can boast of twelve (12) of them.
The experiential revitalization of the Elmina castle was significantly strategic for several reasons and the architecture of the interventions would be critical to its success or otherwise.
Being conserved as a UNESCO world heritage site, we had the fragile responsibility of conceiving the spatial elements that would visually complement the majestic ediface without obstructing its prominence.
Our proposal therefore envisaged the castle itself as a constant backdrop to the various recreational activities to be developed within the enclave with seating areas on the current sea defense, a mooring dock for speedboats and canoes and cabanas lined up at the beach front, overlooking the lagoon.
We considered materials and construction methods that would have the least impact on the environmrnt as well as naturally blend into its sorroundings. Also importantly, we employed systems that drew on existing traditional methods so the community could participate in its realization and invite a sense of ownership with the people.
The proposal features a circular structure with a courtyard housing craft stalls and an open terrace diner with extensive view towards the sea and the castle alike.
A combination of thatch and transluscent perspex is used for the roofing, which is structurally supported by timber columns shaped and finished in the form of canoe paddles inspired by the resident fishing community.
An allocation for event grounds set in picturesque fashion against the castle backdrop and the expanse of the ocean, is envisioned to attract destination ceremonies like weddings that would bring some good revenue to the community.
The proposed development is expected to complement the Ghana Tourism Authority’s (G.T.A) ecotourism plan to position tourism in the national development agenda