The Kaira LooroCompetition’s winning projects for an EOC in Sub-Saharan AfricaEmergencies strike suddenly and without warning. They level cities to the ground and tear down buildings as though they were made of sand. In almost no time at all everything is destroyed and all that remains is the realisation that you have to get up and start all over again from scratch. In recent years the occurrence of deluges and flooding have increased dramatically. Analogously, conflicts and financial crises persist and lead to serious humanitarian emergencies which put the lives of millions of people at risk. Resolving an emergency of any kind means re-establishing peace and security.
The ”Emergency Operations Centre”is the 4thof the Kaira Loorointernational architecture competition. This is a Non Profit competition with the aim of raising awareness among the international community aboutemergencies in developing countries, and support humanitarian projectsin Africa.The pasteditionswere dedicated to the design of a Sacred Architecture(2017),a Cultural Centre(2018)and a Peace Pavilion (2019). This year the competition aims to developa theme ofglobal interest: emergency, such as Tsunami, Wars, Flooding etcetera.Thethemeof the 2020’s competition was to design an Operational Centre for the management of humanitarian emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa, an EOC.
The architectureis intended to house and facilitate the mainly activities which international organisations and local authorities must implement in order to solveemergencies and provide aid to affected communities. The spaces shouldbe versatile and multifunctional, capable of adapting to specific needs and to the type and context of the emergency. The competition has beenorganized by the Balouo Salo No Profit Organization, engaged in Africa to develops humanitarian projects, with the collaboration of structures of international importance and relevant collaborations such us Kengo Kuma & Associates, SBGA | Blengini Ghirardelli, MMA Design Studio, international NGOs, medias and institutions.. Archiloverse Archiportalewere official media partners.
The winners were chosen by an international jury made up of: Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates, Japan), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA | Blengini Ghirardelli, Italy), Lígia Nunes (Architecture Sans Frontières International, Spain), Mphethi Morojele (MMA Design Studio, South Africa), Walter Baricchi (CNAPPC), Philippa Nyakato Tumubweinee (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Mantey Jectey-Nyarko (Kwame Nkrumah University, Ghana), and a scientific committee made up of Raoul Vecchio (Balouo Salo), Sebastiano D’Urso (University of Catania) and Moussa Soaune (Senegalese institution).
On 9thMay 2020the jury declared the 30 winning projects, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rdplaces, 2 honourable mentions chosenby Kengo Kuma and by the Balouo Salo Organisation, 5 special mentions, and 20 finalists. The winning project will receive a cash prize (€ 5000) and an internship at the prestigious Kengo Kuma & Associates in Tokyo, Japan. The second team will receive 1.500€and an internship at the SBGA in Milan, Italy and the third team 1.000€ and an internshipat Mopheti Morojele Design in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Furthermore, all of the awarded projects will be published in the competition’s official book, exhibited at events, and published in articles and magazinesThedesign goal was to create an EOCthat manages humanitarian crises to facilitate activitiesthat provide aid. Given that an emergency is an unforeseeable event, the structure must adhere to certain construction requirements, meaning that it must be easily and quickly built using natural materials that are easy to put together, or using materialsthat are present at the site of the disaster and which can be then reused to serve a new architectural function, or yet still, as in the case of a semi-permanent structure, can be converted into something useful for reconstruction when the emergency is over.
The EOC will primarily have to fulfil the following functions, with corresponding rooms, arranged according to the participant’s concept: emergency’s management, assistance, reception, monitoring, storage room and logistics. The structure should havethe following characteristics: maximum surface area of 500 square meters in the floor plan, only ground floor, havethree main areas dedicated to management, assistanceand logistics, be easily mounted and dismantled or be conceived as a semi-permanent structure to be repurposed with a different intended use when the emergency is over, be inexpensive and sustainable in its use and functions, favour the use of natural materials available in the surrounding areas and/or the use of leftover materials from the emergency itself.
The winner of the competition is a Polish team composed by Aleksandra Wroble, Agnieszka WitaszekandKamil Owczarek. The Second place is won by a team comes from Philippines composed by Clarisse Gono, Tsunxian Lee, Nathan MehlandKatherine Huang.The third prize come fromItaly and is designed byMichele BaldiniandMarco Barzanti.Two honourablementions were awarded, one nominated by Kengo Kuma for the Colombian team composed of Manuela Molina,María Camila Joaqui, María Camila MartínezandSilvia Valentina Ruiz and the otherhonourable mention is selectedby the Balouo Salo organization and comes from Costa Rica, the team is composed by Ana Carolina Vargas González, Claudia Salinas Arriagada, Gilberto Valverde AriasandDavid Cubero Fernández.5 special mentionswere assigned to teams from Italy, Egypt, Indonesia and Romania. Finally, 20 finalists for teams from Italy, Philippines, Bulgaria, Egypt,China, Tunisia, Brazil, Belgium, Algeria, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Poland.
Project by: Aleksandra Wróbel, Agnieszka Witaszek, Kamil Owczarek
Project by: Clarisse Gono, Tsunxian Lee, Nathan Mehl, Katherine Huang.
Project by: Michele Baldini, Marco Barzanti