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The Oval Partnership Architecture Ltd is the London studio of an international group of architects, urbanists, designers and researchers.
ProjectRedevelopment of decomissioned Obuasi gold mine
Size4 ha
BriefConcept planning, sustainable development
Date2014
LocationObuasi, Ghana
Oval Partnership’s ‘Green Gold’ master plan for the decommissioned 4 ha Obuasi gold mine site is designed to allow for maximum flexibility and ultimately full integration with the surrounding town. The first phase is intended to create an affordable, manageable, and self-sustaining critical mass of accommodation and activity to seed further sustainable growth. Ultimately the aim is to provide a prototype for the regeneration of Obuasi as a whole, a town that has not benefitted in the way that it should from the riches that lie beneath. With an estimated eight million ounces of gold, worth a billion dollars at today’s prices, still to be brought to the surface, there remains ample opportunity to turn this situation around.

Key to the proposal is the concentration of initial development close to the existing town in the form of an ‘urban village’ centred around a new hotel. Beyond the village centre, but still close to the town would be the botanical gardens, showcasing native species and providing a facility for research into medicinal plants. The gardens provide the setting for all the other uses in this area: adventure playground, first phases of the water park, spa and wellbeing centre, a performance space, picnic areas and the mining museum and interpretation centre.

Beyond this most of the land would be laid out to various forms of cultivation, both productive and research based. Peri-urban agriculture is one of the ‘hidden’ phenomena of the urbanising developing world, and we see this as something to be celebrated and enjoyed as contributing both character and productivity to the Green-Gold story.  The master plan envisions steady, intelligent and flexible growth. The momentum and success of later phases will depend on the community’s support of what is built in phase one. The aim is to incorporate community engagement as a central part of the on-going planning process to build a constituency that has a vested interest in making the project a successful reality.