DOS Architects Catholic Church Lagos Nigeria 1

DOS Architects: Catholic Church in Lagos, Nigeria

London studio DOS Architects have won a competition to design a 2000-seat church in Lagos, Nigeria with this design featuring an undulating roof.

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The Catholic Church of the Transfiguration will be built with variously-sized arches at four-metre intervals, creating a swooping roof that dips towards the entrance in the middle.

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This steel structure will house a two-storey congregation hall with glazing at either end emphasising the hall’s height.

Construction is expected to begin in 2011.

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Architects about their proposal:

Even though our design proposal may seem unconventional to the untrained eye, it is actually based on traditional principles of Catholic Church design: The main congregation Hall features a Latin cross above the Organ and altar; The hall has a nave and two aisles at each side which are all coincident with the main axis of the Church; we have placed a Latin Cross on the highest point of the Church’s structure, which will become an icon for the city of Lekki and Lagos as a whole.

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The project consists of an organic skin which, in one single gesture, becomes the roof and external walls of the Church, enveloping and protecting the Congregation within. The main access is placed in the narrowest and lowest part of the building and leads into a spectacular entrance foyer, from which the visitor has views and clear access to both floors of the Church. The main staircase in the entrance foyer divides the Church into two halves which are visually linked by the large atrium that traverses the building. The funnel effect within the entrance foyer moreover reinforces the huge and spectacular scale of the main Congregation Hall and the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration to either side.

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The architectural concept and structural form are integral, with a series of arches of varying heights producing the sculptural form of the building as a whole. Arches are one of the oldest and most efficient forms of structure, utilizing the full height of the building to provide stiffness resulting in a relatively slender structure. Fabricated steel arches are positioned at 4m centres along the length of the building, with cold‐formed steel purlins spanning between the arches supporting the roof finishes and ceiling within. These arches are supported on each side of the building by a series of piled foundations taking vertical loads into the ground beneath. The horizontal thrust which results from the arching action is resisted by a reinforced concrete ground slab which ties the two bases of the arch together.

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