Archstorming, an architectural platform that organizes international humanitarian competitions, has released the results for the Senegal Elementary School contest. In this competition, participants were challenged to design a school for the NGO Let’s Build My School, a non-profit organization from the United Kingdom that builds schools in underprivileged areas across the world using sustainable and locally sourced materials. They research and implement innovative and low-cost construction techniques, which can be adapted to diverse sites and require little or no construction knowledge. The chosen location was Marsassoum, a small town located in the south of Senegal.
Expert judges with experience in Africa, such as Francesca Vittorini and Andrea Tabocchini from Italy, Tore Grimstad from Norway, Ulrich Röhlen from Germany, Zani Gichuki from Kenya, ColectivoMEL from Portugal or Marc Thorpe from the USA thoughtfully selected the five winners and ten honorable mentions of the competition.
The first prize was awarded to Santiago Osorio, Carlos Peña and Mauricio Suárez from Cali, Colombia. Whereas the second prize was granted to Prathyusha Viddam, Tina Gao and Amy Zhang from New York and third position to Nicole Niava and Aude Meissane Kouassi from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The two special honorable mentions were awarded to Francesco Casini, Federico Caserta and Fiamma Ficcadenti from Italy and Kushal Shah, Aasish Janardhan and Edwin James from India.
Project by: Santiago Osorio, Carlos Peña, Mauricio Suárez – SANTIAGO DE CALI, COLOMBIA
“What is the duty of architecture in developing areas?
Trying to solve this question, we challenge ourselves to develop a project that would seek to weave society, that could benefit, become an important center and enhance the quality of the community. Consequently, the project proposes an outdoor space that welcomes the visitors, a small square open to everyone that serves as an extension area for the school and the library which is carefully located to be a knowledge platform not only for the students but the whole community outside.
The project is planned on one single level to reduce the construction cost; the spaces are arranged so as to create an open central area aiming to respect and highlight the existence of the tree where different kind of activities take place. The spaces are also designed to conform the perimeter of the plot, giving an image of unity and defining clear boundaries easy to control. The orchard and corral areas are located in front of the canteen, thus facilitating the provision of the necessary supplies in the preparation area.”
Project by: Prathyusha Viddam, Tina Gao, Amy Zhang – NEW YORK, USA
“L’Ecole du Fleuve draws its inspiration from the river along whose bank the village of Marsassoum sits, while paying homage to the tradition of making and using buckets and baskets in Senegal. Just as the river is central to the region’s cultural and economic life, the school becomes a new hub for education, culture and economic opportunity through its use of local materials, affordable construction techniques, and programming.”
Project by: Nicole Niava, Aude Meissane Kouassi – ABIDJAN, CÔTE D’IVOIRE
“Providing access to education in rural areas, alongside reducing the environmental impact of the construction sector in Senegal, is imperative. With this project, we do not wish to only build a school. We aim to transform the construction process into a training program for the Senegalese youth, bringing awareness to the potential of traditional building materials and the architectural methods of their cultural legacy. Our proposal highlights the use of vegetable fibers associated with recycled and affordable materials into a culturally driven, low technology architecture.”
Special Honorable Mention
Project by: Francesco Casini, Federico Caserta, Fiamma Ficcadenti – ROME, ITALY
Special Honorable Mention
Project by: Kushal Shah, Aasish Janardhan, Edwin James – ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS + MILAN, ITALY
Project by: Cristina Iordache, Ana Dinca – BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Project by: Thiago de Paula Nardelli, Natalia Fernanda Vieira Zoilo, Ana Luiza Devito Cuenca, Marcela Ferro Agulhão – CAMPINAS, SP, BRAZIL
Project by: Felix Exton-Smith – WALLINGFORD, UNITED KINGDOM
Project by: Guillermo Biondo, Javier Cabello, Sebastian Murillo – SANTIAGO DE CHILE, CHILE
Project by: David Villegas, Paula Castel, Nicole Stephanie Cardona Barbosa – MEXICO CITY, MEXICO + BARCELONA, SPAIN + CALI, COLOMBIA
Honorable Mention 6: Ludovica Cassina, Cristian Rancati, Antonio Paoletti – ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Project by: Thomas Grannells, Johnny Sprunt – LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Project by: Gurdev Singh – VADODARA, INDIA
Project by: Sean Anderson, Tobias Jimenez, Zaky Ramadhan, Akkarawin Valinluck – SEATTLE, WA, USA
Project by: Jules Burguet, Julien Sarale, Remi Merchat, Jonathan Tholoniat – PARIS, FRANCE