James Cubitt Architects was commissioned by Maersk to design a relatively small office for their harbour site in Lagos, Nigeria. The idea was to enable them to view their ships from the Head Office as they passed through the harbour on their way to the Tin Can Island Dock. As is common in JCA’s designs, the windows are shaded, by projecting each successive floor over the one below thus preventing direct solar penetration and the resultant heat gain and glare, while leaving the interiors well lit.
Five years after the building had been completed and occupied, an exciting challenge came in the form a request from the client for an additional two floors. We worked around it without violating safety codes by using lightweight construction. The top floor had a concrete slab over it, and that was automatically converted to a floor and an additional floor was constructed using lightweight metal decking with a thin concrete topping. To keep things light, sprayed cement on metal lath was used for the parapets around the newly added floor. The conflict that arose during the construction process between site area and parking was well managed, to maintain HSE standards.