United States Embassy, Lagos
The new U.S. Consulate General reflects the dynamic forward-looking spirit of Lagos. The diagrid façade draws on local design traditions to create a high-performing and resilient structure.
Located in Eko Atlantic, a newly constructed mixed-use district designed to protect Lagos from rising sea levels, the new U.S. Consulate maximizes the impact of landscape to create a place a respite and to serve as a proactive model of resiliency in a rapidly growing urban environment.
Lagos, Africa’s most populous city and one of the fastest growing mega-cities in the world, is famous for its traffic and congestion. However, the coastal landscape of the Lagos Lagoon supports a unique and rich flora, much of which has been lost to development. Inspired by the natural environment, the lush and welcoming Arrival Court establishes the importance of landscape on the new consulate campus, a theme that is continued throughout.
Inspired by the winding channels of water making their way to the ocean though the Lagos Lagoon, the gently curving site geometry encourages the movement of wind and water across the site, creating cool microclimates and making the stormwater management strategy visible as a design feature. The buildings are pushed to the edges, maximizing open space at the center–the site’s green lung.
The new U.S. Consulate General prioritizes resilient and sustainable design strategies. Located in a hot, humid environment, the new U.S. Consulate General reduces energy use and uses on-site energy generation to manage high energy demand. The façade is self-shading and the exterior diagrid is designed to reduce solar heat gain while maintaining access to daylight and views on the interior. The landscape design connects the site to its natural delta environment by making stormwater management visible and by resilient design techniques on display. The project takes a holistic attitude towards resiliency, encompassing physical and psychological resilience for the consulate community.
The Main Entry and Lobby are designed to be civic and representational, reflecting Lagos' importance as a regional economic center. A large canopy creates shade and a location for ceremonial arrivals.
The office tower above has a diagrid façade, inspired by the geometry that dominates local art and craft traditions. The diagrid integrates structure into the architectural expression of the building, while creating structural redundancy and a flexible column free office environment. The performative façade is self-shading, reducing energy use while optimizing access to daylight and views.
The landscape concept continues into the office tower, where the corners are eroded to create exterior gardens, which are the focus of common spaces. An ornamental stair provides access to the community spaces and café above. The cafe is designed to function as both an everyday destination and as a gathering space for the consulate community. With views towards the canal, the café is the center of consulate life.
With a large number of visitors, the consulate is an important local destination. A shaded arrival pavilion, with a series of staggered roofs and a granite screen wall that encourages the natural convection of air, creates a cool microclimate for consular visitors as they arrive. Dense landscape and shady pathways provide a garden experience as visitors make their way to the front door. The long curve of the consular section helps break up the expanse of transaction windows to create a more intimate experience.
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Consulate Office Building: 14,685 GSM / 158,070 GSF; Site: 12.2 Acres
- Offices, Consular Services, Cafeteria, Multipurpose Room, Recreational Facilities, Warehouse, Shops, Entrance Pavilions, Parking Garage, Utility Building, Boat Dock and Pedestrian Bridge
- Ennead Design Team
Richard Olcott, Kevin McClurkan, Felicia Berger, Kate Mann, Kristen Alexander, Amy Cantwell, Edward Chang, Najiyah Edun, Stefani Fachini, Christina Fazio, Anthony Guaraldo, Dalia Hamati, Kathleen Kulpa, Sandra Marcatili, Apexa Patel, Sam Sidersky, Henry Weintraub, Sydney Ziemba