The Circle

Location: Eko Atlantic, Nigeria


The Circle is a footbridge intended to provide pedestrian access at the entrance of the Eko Atlantic City, a city currently under construction in Lagos, Nigeria, and designated to become the new business hub of West Africa by the year 2020. The curving walkway's design is straightforward and basic, trying to achieve simplicity and unity of form and function: a single continuous leaning circle suspended in the air on one side and buried into the earth on the other side. The slender structure is elegantly supported by a series of columns recalling the African woodlands. Rising from the ground, the circular access ramp / path flies delicately above the busy roads, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, then dives slowly back down into the earth through a staircase leading the visitors to an underground sheltered passage. The Circle's simple geometry thus creates a complex dialectic between light and darkness, lightness and heaviness, statism and dynamism. Reminiscent of the circular tradition of "primitive huts" in African architecture, the bridge's circular plan is a symbol of perfection and unity, and conjures a celebration of the universal spirit. The simplicity of the form makes it psychologically and physically accessible to all. Designed as a monolithic path, this street infrastructure is an attempt to create a smooth sculptural form amidst the chaotic traffic of the busy streets of the city.