KAIRA LOORO CHAPEL SENEGAL
INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE COMPETITION SACRED ARCHITECTURE
3rd Place Winners
Senegal is a nation accepting of all faiths & cultures, Different religions are celebrated, forming solidarity in the community. Our proposal is driven by community as the common ground between all faiths. Community is first & foremost in this scheme, encouraging people to come together in a world that can be divisive. The design celebrates the spirit of the people of Tanaf, crafting a space that invites peace & spirituality. The building draws on locally sourced, sustainable materials but seeks to use them in new inventive ways, allowing the villagers to push traditions & give them a space to be proud of. By excavating & sculpting the earth from the site, they create a structure, which literally comes from the “God given land” but is sculpted by the hand of man. The earth is used to make handmade clay bricks, linking to traditional building methods & represent the bond & strength of community, each brick supporting the next. The community are encouraged to be part of crafting this iconic building, one they can take pride in and call their own upon completion. Being set back from the main road allows a better pedestrian flow & creates a buffer before reaching the Chapel. The circle is the generator of form - it is universal, unites, & represents peace. The form is a landmark in the village standing out against the surrounding context. The plaza space can be used for meeting & events & is flexible, defining the civic nature of the design. The brick floor radiates out from the sunken reflection space, reinforcing the idea of community & defining the space in the landscape. The sunken reflection space forms private areas for prayer & contemplation, descending downwards into the earth enhances the transition from openness to sacred. The Chapel is an inspirational marker of what man can achieve with the natural elements which were given by God & celebrate natural elements such as light & rain. Each private space is formed from rammed earth reinforcing the sculpted nature of the architecture. Visitors pass from the private spaces to the central sanctum, used for communal prayer and teaching, The heart of the space is formed from bricks, ascending to the heavens & are embraced by the divine light from the decorative brick dome above. This spiritual nature is reinforced through a reflection pool, which harvests rainwater for the village, celebrating its importance.