Project:  Cultural Center

Location: Sedhiou, Senegal

Total Area:  1080 sq.m

Building Area: 550  sq.m

Year: 2018

Status: Competition

Team: Nanuka Zaalishvili, Rezi Kratsashvili, Ani Tsikoridze

“One should not sketch out utopian projects, because evolution can only result from practical experience.” – Jean Prouve

How to represent the country of ancient traditions and rich culture in Architecture? What to offer Sédhiou which has a passion for seeing, passion for telling, passion for life?

Senegal has vibrant and enduring traditions of rituals, singing, dancing and handcrafts and our aim is to combine all these together in a Cultural Center. We designed three separate geometric volumes under one roof. Made with locally found clay, these spaces serve different activities. The journey starts with a café and library next to it. Large outdoor terraces offer comfortable armchairs to rest, chill with fresh juice made by local women and enjoy the surroundings. We created opportunity where locally made rope armchairs can be displayed in the outdoor area and sold to tourists. There are concrete tables between them, where the waste will be compacted and covered within the concrete too. The waste collected from the surroundings is also stored in a concrete base under the terraces.

The second building consists of the Education/Workshop Room and Info Center, sharing room with Administration. Third building is fully dedicated to an exhibition hall. There is an area for performances in front of it. A round shape creates seating for spectators and a capable space for the performers.

Vertical metal columns are symmetrically placed on the ground connecting with wooden beams, supporting the three-level roof. The roof consists of black tin sheets and bamboo sticks underneath. We created a decorative element on the ceiling from the plastic bottle waste. There’s simple method to make rope from the plastic bottles and we reused approximately 9320 plastic bottles to create these hanging elements, with different lengths and various colour bottles. Sunlight will reflect through these strips and the breeze will rustle between them making peaceful sounds. Spaces between buildings create airflow giving lightness to the whole building.