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Keré Architecture Reveals National Assembly of Benin Design

For the design of the National Assembly of Benin, the Republic chose the Berlin-based firm of native son, Francis Keré. A work of beauty and significance, the new building is inspired by the palaver tree, known as a meeting place in West African culture. The courtyard design—which will hold an assembly hall, offices, a roof terrace, and communal public green space—takes inspiration from the palaver tree and “the age-old West African tradition of meeting under [one],” according to a statement by the firm. Construction is scheduled to start in next month, in March 2021. The assembly hall will be on the ground floor, while the upper levels will hold the offices and a rooftop terrace. Extending out from the core – a central, green courtyard – the multi-story, orthogonal structure will arc above its perimeter to provide shaded loggia-like pavilions on all four sides. There will also be a public park for recreation and assembly on the eight-and-a-half-acre site.