Group 13

The Marine Drive Project is a coastline development proposal in Accra, Ghana, which includes regeneration of the city’s crucial area with significant landmarks relating to the country’s independence. However, the project’s scheme is confidential and there is little information available and readily accessible to the non-architectural community in Ghana. Re-imagine Accra, in collaboration with architecture students in Kumasi and Accra, Ghana, through the use of a series of interactive workshops, data gathering, and diverse mapping tools will explore the Marine Drive project and create a short publication (Physical and Online) to increase the awareness of the general public on this project.

Chor Yu M / Laura Gabriela T / Szymon Konrad M / Anya Hristova T / Samuel Ejaye-Uzhieka O


Meet our international team of five 5th year students. We are a group of creative and friendly students with different experiences and interests.

Anya: &Architecture
- My main interest relates to the usage of public spaces and their social value within the diverse cultures.

Geoffrey: &Architecture
- I am keen to know the social impact brought by urban development. I am passionate in photography and graphic design.

Sam: &Architecture
-I’m interested in a user-centred design and co-design in architecture. I also like long-boarding and making animations.

Szymon: &Architecture
- I am interested in the impact of political and historical context in a perception of urban fabric.

Laura: LULU
-I am interested in how architecture and urban planning shapes habitats and controls the built up environment.

Hope you are interested in our event and we are looking forward to meet you and work together on this project!
Posted 7 Mar 2020 14:44
Location: The Marine drive runs along the Southern coast of Ghana, along the Gulf of Guinea, bordering the Atlantic 0cean.
It is a key part of the city, housing a handful of landmarks synonymous with the countries independence, like The Black Star Square also known as Independence Square, Independence Arch, Black Star Gate etc.

It covers a total of 241 acres, stretching from the Christiansborg Castle at Osu to the Arts Centre in the Gamashie enclave, Accra.

Posted 12 Mar 2020 09:41
In collaboration with Ghanaian students, we would like to create a publication to increase the awareness of the Marine Drive Project in Accra. Although the proposal includes regeneration of the crucial part of the city with significant landmarks relating to the country’s independence, the current plan of the development is confidential and there is little information released to the public. 
 Through our event, we would like to compare the historical information analysed by Research Method – Accra Futurism with the current situation and limited materials about proposed Marine Drive Masterplan. We hope that collaboration with Ghanaian students will allow us to gather more insight into the current state of the site.
Posted 12 Mar 2020 10:22
Professor Ola Uduku took up a Professorship in Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture in 2017. Prior to this she was Reader in Architecture, and Dean International for Africa, at Edinburgh University. Her research specialisms are in the history of educational architecture in Africa, and the contemporary issues related to social infrastructure provision for minority communities in cities in the ‘West’ and ‘South’. She is currently engaged in developing postgraduate research and teaching links in architecture urbanism, heritage and conservation between West African Architecture schools and those in North West England.

She has in the past published in the areas of African Architecture, African Diaspora Studies, Gated Communities, and environmental design teaching pedagogies.

Professor Uduku is also the co-ordinator of the EdenApp Tools for Environmental Analysis Lab, which focuses on developing apps for use in teaching environmental concepts such as lighting, thermal comfort, and acoustics to undergraduates through the use of personal apps and sensors.

Doctor Łukasz Stanek graduated in architecture and philosophy after studies in Kraków, Weimar, Münster, and Zurich, and he received his doctorate at the Delft University of Technology (2008). Besides Delft, Stanek was teaching at the Berlage Institute (2008), Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2012), and at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, where he was junior faculty at the Institute of History and Theory of Architecture (2009—2011). He received fellowships at the Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht), the Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris, the Canadian Center for Architecture (Montreal), and the Center for Advanced Study in Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D. C., where he was the 2011—2013 A. W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow.
Posted 15 Mar 2020 15:40
Meeting in Accra
Last week, on the 8th March, our collaborator Ola Uduku met with the Ghanaian team in Accra to discuss the project. This was a first opportunity to have a conversation in person between MSA and KNUST university as a part of this project and hopefully not the last one! Series of topics were talked through including various ways of online communications, the timetable of the event, access to ISDN line and a possibility of GIS training for both Manchester and Ghanaian students. We are looking forward to developing our collaboration and explore the Marine Drive Project together!
Posted 16 Mar 2020 13:45
Marine Drive – Current Proposal
The current proposal has been designed by British-based architect David Adjaye of Ghanaian descend and his company Adjaye Associates for Ministry of Tourist and Culture of the Republic of Ghana. The design of this coastline project, so crucial for the history and identity of the country is currently confidential with a very limited amount of information available. One of the key sources of how the future waterfront is going to look like is this commercial video - .
Posted 16 Mar 2020 13:47
-Accra Futurism Research Method-

In order to map a unique moment in African architecture, Accra Futurism Research Method combined archival research and the use of digital tools, in particular GIS, to study the explosion of architectural production and urban imagination during the first decade of Ghana’s independence (1957-1967).

The hope and ambition for Ghana and for Africa more generally were given shape in the architectural production of the capital city of Accra under Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first leader. The focus was on examining the city’s development, including both realised and conceptual design plans for Accra. While some of these designs were a continuation of the late colonial planning in the then Gold Coast, most were new developments involving new partners. By reviewing these different designs and their alternative approaches, was studied the competing architectural imaginations for Accra, which Nkrumah envisaged not only as a capital of the country but also as a political nucleus of the entire continent.

The aim of the research was to understand the urbanisation process of Accra in general from the second half of 20th century until today as part of larger cultural, political, economic, and social development of West Africa. Were developed knowledge of digital research and presentation tools, and a critical understanding of their uses and limitation within a broader debate about Digital Humanities and architecture as a knowledge-producing discipline.
Posted 16 Mar 2020 13:55
Throughout a period of few weeks our team has been in contact with architecture students from KNUST University, Ghana (Ben, Albert, Chris, Courage and Kobby) in order to present the overall approach to our project and consider its further steps. During our conversations we have been discussing the Marine Drive Project and the details known about it, the events plan of action and most importantly, how could all students get involved in the learning process through organised workshops, lectures and tutorials. Ghanaian students were interested to find out more about QGIS mapping which is a main source that we are planning to explore when analysing the Marine Drive Project. It was a great opportunity for all of us to collaborate, come up with new ideas, learn more about the current situation in Accra and, last but not least, meet new ambitious and creative young people.
Posted 16 Mar 2020 15:24
Why we chose to run this project? And probably why you should choose this project and join us!

Marine Drive Project is carried out in Accra. Many informations remain confidential and it would be interesting for us to study it in depth. It will benefit the local residents if we can reveal the project itself and raise the awareness of it.

As for years of training in architecture school, we are equipped with relevant architectural analytical skills. We can draw maps, do models, make videos, and through different means of media, we are confident that we could make a publication that offer in-depth information for the local people.

What is more, through this collaboration we are able to work with passionate and talented students from a different place. We are fond of getting to know of a distinctive culture and broaden our horizon.

This will sure be a fascinating experience. Come join us!!!
Posted 22 Mar 2020 18:59
Joining Re-Imagine Accra will gain you a lot. It is a valuable experience that you do not want to miss out.

We will analyse and produce a publication about the Marine Drive Project in Accra, Ghana in order to provide some insight of the confidential information of this large scale coastline project to the local residents. There is a chance that the publication would be published by the Ghana Institute of Architecture which will make your CV shine.

To further raise the awareness of this project, there is a chance to travel to Ghana to organise an exhibition, just like what the Accra Futurism did in lat year. It is a valuable opportunity. Furthermore, you can gain a precious friendship with talented passionate Ghanaian students.

Last but not least, through this intensive project in two weeks, you are going to apply different architectural drawing softwares, which will benefit your study later on.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:12

Many thanks to our collaborators who organised the trip to Accra to enhance the site essence. The pictures illustrate the true value of a site: human, art, architecture, and detail.

The pictures capture the social value of the marine drive waterfront, demonstrating that a site is not just a piece of vacant land; it is much more. It has human activities which define the space, it has monuments and building illustrating the country’s history and heritage, with beautiful architectural details.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:16

Accra’s waterfront is located in the city centre and is surrounded by numerous landmarks, enriching the capital with cultural heritages. Numerous of these monuments have been build after the independence, during the time of the first Ghanaian president, Kwame Nkrumah.

-Osu Castle: was built in the 17th century as a fortress by the Danish colony, being numerous time rebuilt during the years. The castle was used by numerous colonial rulers, nowadays being listed as a World Heritage.
-Holy Trinity Church was an Anglican Church built in 1894 and became Cathedral in 1909. It was founded by the British colonial government and it is one of the oldest church buildings in Accra.
-Black Square: was commissioned in 1961 by Kwame Nkrumah in honour of the Queen Elizabeth II visit to release the country into independence. This monument is created to illustrate the fought for Ghana’s independence in 1957.
-Independence Arch: is part of the Independence Square, and it is a grand gate, designed to be the symbolic entrance for the Memorial Park created for Nkrumah.
-Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum: is the resting place of the Nkrumah and his wife. Don Arthur designed the mausoleum as a peace symbol, illustrating an upside-down sward. The park has a museum showcasing rare artefacts related to the countries’ independence.
-Jamestown Lighthouse: is situated in the oldest district in Accra, Jamestown. It was built by British in 1871 and replaced in 1930’ by a modern structure existent today. It served as a light have for the British governors trading and administrative activities.
- Sport Stadium: was commissioned in the 1960S by Kwame Nkrumah to host national and international matches; the sport industry overgoing a great boom after the independence.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:18
Additional notes:
1. Accra is the capital city for the Republic of Ghana on the northwest area of Africa near Togo, Benin and Nigeria. However, the capital is not the largest city in Ghana but in terms of population, it comes second after Kumasi.
2. Ghana attained independence from the United Kingdom on March 6. From 1877 to 1957, Accra served as the capital of the British Gold Coast, a period of almost 80 years.
3. Football is the most popular sport in Accra. The Accra Sports Stadium is home to the Hearts of Oak, the most famous football club in the city, and a host venue of the Black Stars, the national football team of Ghana.
4. The capital building is a castle. The seat of government for Accra is located inside of a massive building called Osu Castle. The castle was built in the 1660’s by Danish settlers and has served as the center of the area’s government for centuries.
5. Africa’s largest manmade harbor – Tema Harbor is located east of the capital’s beaches. Ghana is among the greatest exporters of goods suchs as cocoa, petroleum oils, coconuts, etc., around the globe. Cocoa helped the city grow fast Accra owes quite a bit of it’s growth to the cocoa trade.
6. The Atlantic coastline of Accra is blessed with a number of notable beaches, one of which is Labadi beach. The capital’s beachfront area is home to the Academy of African Music and Arts.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:31
BA1 and BA2 students together with MA01 take part in a team building activity to introduce themselves and to get to know each other. Exploration of Ghanaian cuisine and movies in order to familiarize students with the cultural and historical context of Ghana, followed by introduction to previous studies, done by students from MSA, including Accra Futurism Reaseach-Method and Events 2019. Number of workshops and skill sessions involving the collaboration of students from both UK and Ghana will be presented throughout the project. Groups with participants from all years (BA1, BA2, MA1 and Ghanaian students) will take part in mapping exercises and QGIS training, as well as learn how to present the gathered information in a visual and accessible way. Model making and drawing workshops will take place allowing students to experiment with designs in order to illustrate the current Marine Drive Project proposal and analyze it. Using InDesign, architecture students will create a publication combining all data and present it in front of collaborators.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:32
- QGIS -

QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) used for mapping, but not exclusively. The key features of this software are to create, edit, visualise, analyse and publish geospatial information.

Part of our event, we intend to introduce this system as an alternative mapping tool. We have invited a special technician to teach us and our Ghanaian collaborators, how to use this software and apply it to our project.

We intend to use QGIS for drawing up the existing waterfront and the new Marin Drive Project proposal. Based on the video relieved by the architects, being the only visual representation of the proposal, students will be divided into different groups to draw the data. The purpose is to illustrate how the masterplan will fit within its existing context, and compare it against historical masterplan proposals drown in QGIS by students from the Accra Futurism Research Method.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:35
It is not the first time when MSA works with KNUST university. Also, last year group of BA1, BA2 and MA1 students designed an ‘Accra Futurism’ exhibition and together with our Ghanaian friends built it in Accra in summer. The exhibition consisted of a series of posters and 3D printed models of key landmarks of city’s seaside, turned out to be a big success in Accra and was also exhibited in Kumasi. We hope to build on experience and legacy of previous year group to develop and consolidate the collaboration between both universities. For more information about the exhibition and last year collaboration, please check the website of West African Rapid Urbanisation and Heritage Network:
Posted 22 Mar 2020 19:38
MSA Travel Grant
As a part of this project, we are planning to apply for MSA Travel Grant which would allow students to go to Ghana during the summer to develop further our collaboration and together with students from KNUST university design and built a physical exhibition to present our research. This idea proposed by the Ghanaian team enthusiastically welcomed by Manchester students would allow us to increase awareness of the project not only among students and scholars, but also make it accessible for various social groups and local residents. We would be really excited to see the analysed site of Marine Drive Project and meet in person with our collaborators!
Posted 22 Mar 2020 21:07
A very insightful interview was carried out by our friends and collaborators at KNUST University, Ghana (Ben, Albert, Chris, Courage and Kobby).
The guest being Nat Nunoo-Amarteifio, former mayor of Accra and influencial architecture historian. During the course of the discussion subjects about the history of the area (the then small city/ newly liberated Ghana and its vision for the marine drive).
There were also discourse about how mapping and dating of Neem trees (known for its medicinal properties) could allude to historical maps of collonisation, and british settlements in the area.
and more... (Audio Available on Group 13 shared drive)
(Fragments of the transcript of the interview will be available in our publication)
Posted 22 Mar 2020 21:12
The following will be the content in the publication which we plan to make.

1) The current state, which the existing buildings and the historical landmarks in the area (like Black Star Square.. etc) will be documented.

2) Maps drawn by us which will compare the currently listed uses available on online navigation systems (google maps)
to its actual facilities on the ground i.e. local businesses and community interventions.

3) Local speculations and opinions about future development (In Manchester, an informal interview with the Secretary of the UOM Ghanaian Society has already been organised by a member of our team).

4) Information about the Marine Drive Project from the social media feeds of verified local news outlets, which will create a timeline.

5) Comparisons of various masterplan proposal with the situation.

6) Maps produced by QGIS, phots, sketches and graphics which will show the existing site and current proposal.

The output is planned to be engaging and accessible and there is a chance to publish it on a national/local platform.
Posted 22 Mar 2020 21:26