CNN reporter Soni Methu has visited Nigeria’s new convention centre being built on a river bank near the city of Calabar. The building is multi-functional, offering the citizens of Calabar a new cultural centre while attracting more international business travelers and tourists to the area.
“This Calabar convention centre is part of a wider project called Summit Hills. They are also building housing, a hospital, a hotel, and an 18-hole golf course – all designed to attract tourists,” Methu explains.
The Calabar International Convention Centre consists of three adjoining, sculptural volumes. The building is situated on top of a hill and has a spectacular view of the river delta from the foyer and terraces.
In the CNN feature, local project manager Reginald Longdon explains how the new centre is not only a building, but a vision for the city and the regional state: “The statement is the arrival of the state. This state has arrived. We are making a move into the future.”
The city of Calabar is already hosting a number of conferences and, with the completion of the new convention centre, the aim is to attract even more international meetings and tourists.
“Nigeria is developing rapidly at the moment and, as an architect invited to contribute to this development, you have a special obligation to consider architecture as more than a question of geometry. Architecture also contributes to the development of society,” notes International Design Director at Henning Larsen Architects, Louis Becker.
The Calabar International Convention Centre is expected to open in 2015.