The Alioune Diop University in Bambey, Senegal, won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in a ceremony held in Kazan, Russia. Africanews has reported.
The award is presented every three years to projects that distinguish themselves by helping communities lead better lives and comes with a prize of one million US dollars.
The university's teaching and research department scooped the award for setting new standards of excellence in architecture. Jurors were impressed with how the university's architects coped with environmental challenges while remaining sensitive to sustainability issues.
The architecture of the building has a bioclimatic design, due to the unique environmental resources. A large double-roofed canopy and a mesh have been installed to prevent direct sunlight and allow air to circulate through it.
Other impressive strategies include an infiltration reservoir on one side which collects water. This prevents the building from flooding. Additionally, it allows plants to grow on rafts. Some of the plants cultivated include citronella, which is meant to minimize mosquitos near the building. Wastewater filters through a system using activated sludge.
Ibrahim Wone, chief of cabinet, ministry of higher education in Senegal, said “This victory can have a great impact in Senegal and Africa because the building was created by the environment – by taking the temperature of certain local realities, etc. – it is a great one that can have a great impact on Senegal and Africa and can be replicated everywhere."
The structure of the building is inspired by a large tree in the compound, and like the tree, it was intended to offer shelter, shade, and freshness for students.
Photo courtesy of Google
Article by Jedidah Mwangi