Rural Arts Center
LOCATION: Sédhiou, Senegal
PROGRAM: Auditorium, landscape
CLIENT: NKA Foundation
TEAM: sastudio, ESC Architects
Competition AWARD: Honor Mention
Size: 450 m2
The project aims for the creation of a multipurpose space that performs both as an auditorium and as a sheltered community space.
Its strong positioning in the central axis of the Master Plan could mean a barrier for circulation, instead, the idea is to turn it into part of the path, as a breakout area for the Arts’ village by connecting classrooms and workshop spaces, students, and visitors.
The design takes into consideration the existing masterplan guidelines and the climatic conditions of the Sédhiou Region of the Casamance proposing a roofing structure that could provide both shading and rain protection.
Since the auditorium faces the entrance of the village, the roof movement opens it towards the visitors in a welcoming gesture, while to the Southern side towards the campus, it slopes down, blending smoothly with the landscape.
The resulting shape maximizes the auditorium audience capacity by having a covered front-facing row and an extended exterior seating area on the landscape.
The design aims to experiment ferrocement on its endless formwork possibilities, for being easily buildable and made of a mix of sand from the site with cement that is largely available in the region. The grand majority of the construction is earth-based, with rammed earth walls, and pressed-earth flooring.