Equal access to resources and opportunities, regardless of gender, is a human right. The ‘Women’s House’, located in Baghere village, southern Senegal, offers an educational and social environment in which women and men, girls and boys, are encouraged to achieve their full potential, with a focus on providing space for education and raising awareness. The concept of sustainable development—environmental, social and economic—is central to the design of the Women’s House and we believe this will be the key to the project’s long-term success.
The design utilises local materials to generate revenue within Baghere village and draws from the vernacular construction techniques and methods found in rural regions of southern Senegal. The tectonic expression of the building respects the environmental and climate challenges the region is set to experience in the coming decades, making use of materials with low embodied carbon, rainwater harvesting, and renewable energy.
The design is predominantly constructed from handmade brick, with a concrete frame, bamboo supports, and traditional straw thatch reimagined with a curved bamboo truss design of bamboo vulgaris and wild bamboo. The walls have been designed to include perforations that encourage natural ventilation and reduce extreme heat in the building, while providing privacy, diffused light and adding to the architectural expression of the project. Foundation footings, floor slabs and columns have be minimised to reduce the amount of concrete used whilst providing the necessary loading capacity’ The design of the building has been adapted for self-construction and therefore does not require the use of heavy vehicles or complex machinery.
The aim of the Women’s House is to provide a new and innovative gathering space which will have a positive and long-lasting impact on the people of Baghere, respecting the natural and cultural context raising awareness of gender equality and emancipation of women.
view of the courtyard at the rear of the building with outdoor activities
views of the cafe and computer room
the venue can be rented out by the women to ensure financial sustainability
for kiara looro 2021
project area: 200m2