Mikou Design Studio has unveiled the design for the Africanews headquarters in Brazzaville, Congo. Mikou proposed a large expressive tower on stilts during a competition for the site. The tower mass floats on massive pillars over a two-story podium with an interstitial patio between the pieces, topping out at 174 feet over the city.
The new 83,000-square-foot headquarters building seeks to represent African heritage through its tonality and composition of solid and void patterning on the facade. The use of openwork concrete produces a visually porous building envelope while vertically mounted V-shaped sunshades create an additional layer to filter light and guard against heat gain.
“We have conceived the Africanews Tower as a sculptural, elevating building, the bearer of an African poesy in its materiality, its tonalities and the interplay of relief and hollows which characterises the facades,” the architects said on their website. “Its vertical proportion is accentuated by the facets of the envelope in relief and hollows, which stretch it upwards and give it a sculptural effect of depths of field and magical contrasts of light and shadow.”
The sunshade on the facade lends the appearance of folded metal panels to the building’s exterior. The fins allow for more effective ventilation in the structure. An internal courtyard additionally promotes this air flow. Landscaping within this courtyard helps to create a healthier working environment for the building’s inhabitants.
The building will house newsrooms, offices, screening and conference rooms, and, on the roof, the concrete patterning expands to allow for better views of the city and nearby Congo River from a restaurant. The project is expected to be complete in 2015.