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Libreville, Gabon

Libreville is the densely populated capital city of Gabon in West equatorial Africa. Due to the country’s difficult and unplanned growing pains the government has enacted the Green Gabon Initiative in an effort to create sustainable development while preserving the national rainforest.

The challenging tropical climate allowed for some unique design solutions utilizing the consistent wind and available daylight. This concept design for a sustainable mixed use building that includes a retail bakery and production area, a restaurant with an elevated streetside terrace, retail space that opens into an urban vegetative garden covering and shading the rear parking area, as well as upper level offices and a residential penthouse with shaded exterior spaces.

Innovative Design Features:

Effective daylight harvesting and natural ventilation

Roof-top solar array to accommodate a significant percentage of the building electrical and hot-water demands

Low albedo paving and roofing materials to reduce the urban heat island effect

Rain-water collection / storage for irrigation and other non-potable uses

Vegetative roofing to provide urban gardens reducing stormwater surges and urban heat island effects

Extensive use of vertical and horizontal shade structures to provide adequate protection in the equatorial climate

Community connectivity with a pedestrian friendly mixed-use development in the core of the city