Project: Hotel, Congress Center, 50 Presidential Villas and 18 hole Golf Course
Location: Oyala-Djibloho Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Africa
Landscape Design: GSAssociati, PGLandShapes, Ravenna, Italy
Golf Design: GSA, PGLandShapes, Bates Golf Florida
Project Manager: Eng. Sam Thamin
Design Team Coordinator: arch. Olivia Czartoryska
Design original concepts: arch. Georges Hirsch, Belgium; George Lorenzon, Vancouver, Canada
Interior designer: Stramigioli Associati, Pesaro, Italy; Alan Hurlbatt, Akataka, South Africa
Construction: PICCINI CONSTRUCTION
Client: Piccini Construction for GE Projectos (Government of Equatorial Guinea)
Oyala, also known as Djibloho is a city that is being built to be the future capital of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea replacing the city of Malabo. The planned city’s location, in the heart of the Equatorial Forest in the Wélé-Nzas Province was chosen for its easy access and benign climate. The project of hotel, resort and golf course represent a typical international teamwork design where the masterplan process has been developed following the landscaping and grading guidelines after the site analysis.
All the planning phases started with considering the best compromise for the golf hotel and 50 villas locations in the relationship with the golf course holes that are surrounding the resort inside the peninsula created by the River Muni meander.
The design and construction of this project, in the heart of equatorial rainforest has been a great professional and human experience: the international team of the Italian contractor builted from scratch the basis for a prefab factory for the concrete elements and a camp hosting more than 1000 people together with machinery and materials. The life at the camp during the evening beside the fireplace created a unique friendship atmosphere, building up brotherhood between various ethnic groups.
The park around the hotel and congress center embraces with green spaces the functional zones, roads and parkings, the outstanding new features of this landscape includes its pavement design, fountains and lighting, swimming pools, tennis courses and sunbathing lawns, reading and ornamental gardens with local colorful flowers and shrubs; in the frontyard between the main entrance and the congress center, there is a big outdoor institutional space so called The Plaza of the United Palms of Africa.
The original idea was to create a conceptual shape like a “living flag” about the future of Africa, a new hope for a peaceful green continent similar to what is Europe nowadays. The central part of the square is a golf putting green with the African continent shape, a dream that could became true, imagining sons of the African presidents playing together during the Pan African meetings of the 53 delegation of all african states. The green shape of Africa is surrounded by concrete grey slabs with local granite in the mesh (impasto) and granite stones to fill the joints between the slabs. The concrete pavement, is progressively rarifiying reducing the size of the concrete slabs, by living the grass inside the joints until the heart of the plaza where is completely grassed.
More than 30.000 flowering plants and shrubs has been produced on site in a temporary nursery in order to prepare the landscape pictures of the parks and gardens
The 18 championship holes, are located between the open grassland and the amazing jungle limit, with some huge specimen trees as natural hazards, as targets and turning points; golf holes form a green belt all around the residential villas, hotel and congress center: creating a sort of African Links as a connection zone between the natural jungle and the antropic landscape. The green belt around the building opens and enlarges the views creating also an open land zone for security reasons to prevent eventual human and animal attacks. Native grasses, planted intentionally in non play areas, will prepare the return of the jungle creating the proper ecologic situation for the rebirth of forest trees.
After 20 years of design collaboration with Ron Kirby, this project represent the natural follow up as a first experience of design in partnership with Bates Golf Design. The following schemes shows different play configurations of the layout, that could be exploited for hosting major championship or during regular touristic season.