‘Precision’ and ‘sentimentality’ are not words commonly used to describe buildings – especially new ones in Accra, Ghana’s rapidly-changing capital city. Few, if any, of Accra’s recent public buildings merit a second glance let alone a closer look. Yet the new IFC/World Bank HQ does, and then some. It’s a precise, thoughtful and thoroughly modern building that’s full of surprises, including sentimentality, is exactly what Co-Arc/OOA have achieved. From the soaring, light filled atrium space, via the shuttered and shaded courtyard with its single, century-old tree, visible throughout the building, to the steel-and-wood fins that wrap around the façade, to the bold use of color internally and externally, this is architecture with a capital ‘A’.
Lesley Lokko, June 2013.