Register: APR/04/2018, Submit: APR/25/2018, Eligibility: Students, graduated, freelance architects, designers, artists; individually, teams up to 5 members (at least one member 18 – 35 years old; members may be from different counties and universities), Fee: 60 EUR (JAN/15 – FEB/13/2018), 90 EUR (FEB/14 – MAR/10/2018), 120 EUR (MAR/11 – APR/04/2018), Awards: 1st Prize 2,500 EUR + internship at Kengo Kuma Associates, Tokyo + possible realization of the project, 2nd Prize 1,000 EUR, 3rd Prize 500 EUR, 2 Honorable Mentions 150 EUR each. 5 Mentions, 15 Finalists
The intervention area represents a breeding ground of centuries-old cultures, rich in rituals and experiences coming from father to son, and telling stories about Africa. Cultures here are mixing together in harmony, within an environment full of experiences. Some of those ethnic groups are deeply rooted in history, and, since they never had any archives or written works, they passed those stories only thanks to words coming from the Elders. Globalization effects are reflecting today on communities, putting ancient rituals and the preservation of cultural identities down the risk.
The town of Sedhiou one amongst the less well fixed, has no places to let its own community spread its culture and habits, where to have the chance for everyone to relate and express themselves through arts those art the region is rich in. Here it comes the need to design a meeting place, promoting culture and witness of a location put in discussion during regional conflicts occurred between 1980 and 2005.
The planning of a Cultural Center for the city of Sedhiou aims to renovate the idenitity of the area, trying to reach the goal of creating a location where local cultures may have the chance to be told, passed on and preserved. This challenge sees the planning of an architectural structure as witness of the peaceful relation occurring among local ethnic groups and promoting, at the same time, preservation of local habits. The competitor will show his theme through a surprising and integrated design at once, developing a structure destined to be an Icon for the entire country, without weighing on the surrounding environment. The Architectural structure will require:
- Maximum surfaces: 550 m2 for the indoor area, 400 m2 for the open space area. Maximum height of 8 mt;
- Three main designed areas for Education, Exhibitions and Performances. Furthermore, Bureau and Restrooms must be included;
- A call to economic intervention and sustainability;
- The need of dealing with subjects such as timing or relative problems linked to the structure development, to be set within an area where no specialized workforce exists. For the same reason, projects displaying care about developing time, self-construction and implementation aspects, will be encouraged;
- The preference of local and natural materials, being provided from surrounding areas and occasionaly re-usage of waste products;
- Optimization and preservation of water supplying ;
- Flexible open spaces;
Available on site materials or findable nearby, consist in: Bamboo, Clay Bricks (usual size: 20x30x15 cm), Cement Bricks (20x30x15 cm), metal plates, straw, laterite stones, shells, sand, wooden beams and boards, Clay, Palm tree leaves. Unmentionned materials may be imported from abroad or surrounding main cities, including increasing developing costs.
From 1980 to 2005, the region of Casamance, located in the extreme south of Senegal, passed through marks of a war whose tolls rise to more than 20.000 evacuees and 5.000 deaths. The Casamance river gives the same name to the entire region, cutting the administrative regions of Ziguinchor, Kolda and Sedhiou. The designed area is located in the administrative center of Sedhiou. The city has among 22.000 habitants, against the 420.000 of the whole region, spreaded in different villages.
The biggest ethnic groups consist in: Mandinka, Balantes, Diolas, Fula, Creol, Diahankey, Mancangne. The most common spoken language is the Mandinga, ethnic relevance featured by the presence of Griot Individuals, as promoters of african culture and most important story-tellers, passing the narration of historical events through the aid of the musical instrument called Kora. As for the rest of the country, Sedhiou experiences the passing of two main seasons: the dry season, occurring from November to May, and the rainy one, from June up to October, with an average of 1000-1150 mm per year. The dry period has temperatures around 33° and 45°. Agricultural and fishing activities has considerably reduced due to the recent drought and affecting nutritional stability in family groups.
Different arboreal species grow in Sedhiou. Many trees are used in order to product building materials; Kahya Senegalensis, Kapok tree, Dimb tree, Palm and Fromager trees are some examples.
The most developed economical branch in Sedhiou still remains agriculture. Main products consist in: Millet, Corn, Rice, Sweet potato, Manioc potato, Peanuts and Cashew nuts, Mangoes, Oranges, Papayas, Lettuce, Carrots and Tomatoes. Despite such a variety of products, the growing beyond actual limits for producers is limited by the lack of infrastructures. Health system is insufficient too. The entire region of Sedhiou counts just one hospital with few operating rooms and a low number of employees, even if some First aid and health centers are dislocated all over the rest of the region. Life expetancy (65 years) and infant mortality rate (82%) are strongly affected by the lacking organization of Health System. Its weak cleanliness represents one amongst the main causes of illness. Most of the population ,for instance, drinks from non-purified and hand-made water reservoirs, consequently experiencing health problems such as dysentery and related diseases. Malaria represents the most increasing case in the region, together with the high tuberculosis and HIV virus rates.
Literacy reachs weakly 50%, being affected by the lack of transports and accessibility to school structures in general. The underground natural materials is characterized by a reddish Laterite stone, rich in iron and alternated layers of sand and clay. Music, dance and Tailoring are main regional arts, found together with some other minor activities linked to handicraft.