The multi-functional space will also accommodate a women’s empowerment centre, auditorium, shop, cafeteria, digital experience space, seminar rooms, and an archive repository for the papers, artefacts and key documents of president Mbeki and other significant African figures.
The proposed Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in Riviera, Johannesburg, will be built as eight cylindrical granary-style domes and constructed with a rammed-earth façade and timber cladding made from local wood species.
David Adjaye says: ‘The architecture of the library taps into the collective memory of the continent through the establishment of a new historical centre for African consciousness in which knowledge, education and sustenance are nurtured in the representation and intelligence of the continent.’
Mbeki said that his vision for the new presidential library would ‘encompass both an African past and an African future.’ He said: ‘It will be a place where Africans uncover their own history and identity, a place where we are empowered to script a brighter and more prosperous future.’
Adjaye Associates is working with Johannesburg-based MMA Design Studio on the project.