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Tanaf Spiritual Shelter


Our conceptual approach begins with openness and shared spirituality, not isolation.

Instead of imagining worship in an enclosed cell like a monastery where walls and gates promote silence in the search for the divine, we believe in the symbolic idea of a volume open to anyone regardless of its origins or religion.

The project is accessible from every direction, made of routes more than walls.

A large roof shades the space making the place suitable for informal talks.

Filtered by woven bamboo panels, the sun rays will be turned into an array of threads of lights. The patterns will be left to the creativity of the crafters: the woven panels will be artworks embedding the project into the local culture with an intrinsic sense of identity.

The spatial transitions between the street and the hall are punctuated by steps, porch, panels and screens that develop a succession of sensitive limits leading to an attitude of self-introspection.

Two additional rooms can be used on Fridays by women going to the mosque, to support educational activities or used as meeting rooms.
The eastern wall is opaque and can be used outside as a backdrop for an outdoor stage open to the Street. It will be used by griots and musicians for shows or any kind celebrations.

We see architecture as a vector of social interaction.
People with little building experience will make soil compressed bricks, the basket makers and fence weavers will prepare the bamboos panels, forest workers will harvest the poles, rammed earth walls will require villagers with masonry skills, others could collect recycled car tires etc.

  • Date: 2017
  • Categories: Culture + Education
  • Client: Tanaf, Senegal