Polyvalent Cultural Center in Tanaff/

Raoul Vecchio


Project Details



Tanaff / Senegal



Year (Design/Construction):

2021 / 2022

Area (Net/Gross):

- / -
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • Humanitarian charity project for sustainable development and conservation of culture.
  • Use of natural materials within a radius of 10km.
  • Construction technology consists of bags filled with earth, with a raw earth and straw finishing.
  • Use of only local and specially trained workers.
  • Participation of the community in the construction processes.

Tanaff is a small town of about 9.000 inhabitants, check and referring- point within the region of Sedhiou, Ziguinchor, Kolda and the country of Guinea Bissau. Together with Baghere, ancient cultural and agricultural cornerstone in the area, the town suffered the abandonment of traditional activities by young people in order to make fortune somewhere else, sometimes even abroad, due to the persisting phenomena of dryness and salt intrusion. A big number of young people die because they are unaware of risks. The project mostly addresses those youngsters, providing an educational centre carrying out training activities and development of the territory, promotion and conservation of Senegalese cultures and traditions. 

The ancient town hall will be requalified and improved to create 3 multifunctional buildings and a museum space. Its building process will represent an opportunity to add value to natural resources and territory, exclusively using natural building materials, through a load-bearing structure built with earthbags and a wooden coverings, repromoting some forgiven essences. The building site will represent a training place for the engagement of workforces and local associations, so learning new sustainable and not-expensive technologies in favour of sustainable development of villages. The Centre will be open to whomever represents a uniqueness in Senegal, also according to its constructive technology. Thereby we estimate a strong participation from the entire Casamance that could promote the territory even in turistic terms. Its management will be entrusted to Tanaff municipality.

This project affects communities since it embraces several development aspects, involving a great and varied number of beneficiaries, even though it’s dedicated to young people. The lack of such a place promoting culture is a current gap in the territory. Growth and development of any location are based on awareness and human knowledge, representing fundamentals for the creation of a developing sustainable and long-lasting process. This gap in education, consciousness and awareness strongly affects the growth of young people. This creation wants to be a call for those above, passing through social activities such as preservation of customs and cultural exchange or awareness and consciousness. We rely on local potentials in order to enhance and regenerate it and this represents the final goal of the centre.

The structure will also have an exhibition space dedicated to local customs, being nowadays an endangered characteristic and main feature of any place, representing its identity and richness, helping to the growth of young people and also allowing a touristic development aimed to widen village relationships.

In addition to those positive aspects linked to activities, the building process represents an open air workshop through the usage of building technologies and natural materials to get life conditions improved, paying attention to wastes in poor areas and getting a closer relationship with the surrounding environment. From bricklayers to women and volunteer participation will show a learnable technology for sustainable development.

Biggest benefits of the projects are based on values linked to culture and local identity. That is the reason why it’s a strong impact at sight, creating something connected with its context and oriented towards the spread of values, knowledge and experiences passing through new shapes and materials, as well as the cultural exchange within the workplace played by the exchange of colours and scents coming from natural materials. The architectural project, donated by Raoul Vecchio, is a sample method for developing countries in poor areas, concretely showing a doable chance regarding right usage of materials and technologies in building structures to be donated to communities, responding to emergency conditions and allowing development, all based on environmental sustainability and social criteria.

Architect: Raoul Vecchio

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