Kaira Looro Competition for Sacred Architecture

A tribute to the sacredness in a remote place of the earth. A national symbol for the spirituality of Senegal

by Balouo Salo
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Introspection, spirituality and divinity. These are the elements around which the sacred architecture revolves. The light and the lightness of the materials join sacred and profane, creating an architecture that, through spaces and forms, try to invite humans to an introspective research. 

"Kaira Looro Competition - Sacred Architecture" is an international architectural competition which has as project theme the architectural celebration of the cult philosophy in a remote place on earth, where the shortage of materials and high-performing technology pushes the architecture to the branch of sustainability and integration with landscape and culture. Kaira Looro, that in Mandingo language means "Architecture for Peace", is not just architecture, but it also represents the link to a culture, a spirituality and research of interiority. 

The competition is organized by the Nonprofit Organization "Balouo Salo" with the collaboration of the University of Tokyo, Kengo Kuma & Associates, CNAPPC, Embassy and Consulate of Senegal, Sedhiou Government, the City of Tanaf and others. The sponsors like Four Points by Sheraton Catania will provide cash prizes for the winning projects. These will be named by an internationally renowned jury made up of: Kengo Kuma, Ko Nakamura (University of Tokyo), A. Ghirardelli (SBGA ), A. Muzzonigro (Stefano Boeri Architects), R. Bouman (Möhn + Bouman) Carmine Chiarelli (Arcò), A. Ferrara (Juri Troy architects), Pilar Diez Rodriguez, R. Kasik (X Architekten), S. D'Urso (University of Catania), I. Gomis (Tanaf Mayor), I. Lutri (InArch), W. Baricchi (CNAPPC). 

There will be project awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and also 5 mentions and 10 finalists. The winning project will receive a cash prize and an internship in the Kengo Kuma architectural studio in Tokyo, as well as publications, exhibitions and articles.

The competition is open to architects, designers, engineers and students. It’s possible to participate as a team or individually.

Design an architecture for worship does not mean just offer a new identity to the territory, but also gives substance to a culture, becoming interpreters of his spirituality with lightness and elegance. The Sacred architecture will have to tell the spirituality with a surprising design that can be at the same time integrated with the contest, creating an architecture that can become a symbol for the whole country, making a humble mark on the landscape.

The goal of the contest is to create a symbolic sacred architecture for the whole nation which can improve the precarious conditions of the project area. All proceeds, derived from membership contributions of the participants, will be donated to the humanitarian project "A Bridge for Life" in Senegal, to save 80,000 people now at risk of survival.
The winning design will be given to the organization Balouo Salo who donates it to the community of Tanaf, which can make it in self or in collaboration with religious bodies, institutions or NGOs. The same organization Balouo Salo does not preclude the possibility to adopt this draft as a charity project for the future reserving the possibility of involving the winners during the work. The winning projects will also be presented to the great Marabout of sub-Saharan.

The contest will officially open on 20 January 2017 and will follow this schedule: Early registration - from 20 January to 13 February 2017
Normal registration from 14 February to 10 March 2017
Late registration – 11 March to 2 April , 2017

Competitions deadline - April 23 , 2017

Winners announced – 14 May 2017

To enter the contest, partecipants have just to fill out the registration form in the official website www.kairalooro.com/competition.html

For more information: [email protected]

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    • Balouo Salo

      Aci Castello / Italy

      alouo Salo comes to reality from the friendship between Raoul Vecchio and Jali Diabate, two co-founder partners. They met each other pushed by the odiern president’s motivation, Raoul, to put his architectural skills at disposal of needy communities , and Jali’s, senegalese musician and interpreter, strong will to help his native community. They met by chance, fortune perhaps, and spent a long time talking about their ambitions, finally sharing values such as friendship, solidarity and brotherhood. The strong bond is moved from a common and spontaneous call for free help , leading to plan a first inspection of Baghere, Jali’s native village. Since from first mission, they came upon several difficulties in terms of nourishing, health and economy, so that the two decided to establish a no profit association starting with an ambitious project such as the building of Bridge between Sanoufily and Sambacounda Santo Villages. Raoul begins the planning of an engeneering work and sets all his skills available, involving professionals and academics from all over the world. At the moment they came back to Senegal to show the humanitarian project, they asked a local elder to help them find a name for their project and association. The man, after a long and silent reflection, looked at sky and said: "Balouo Salo”. Known the meaning, Raoul and Jali decided to adopt the name. Later on the association received the ONLUS state upon Ministerial decision. "Ba”means “sea” and “mom”, while “Salo” means “courtyard”, as for meeting place among communities. “Balouo” means “to live” and “life” at the same time. “Salo” means bridge and prayer. The sentence has twice meaning of both “ pray to live” and “bridge for life” in Mandinga language. Goals Balouo Salo aims to deal with humanitarian and environmental emergencies within developing countries donating projects based on participation, equality and solidarity principles. We don’t receive any money and free operate upon a call for altruism. As a matter of facts, volunteers personally take part in activities, just trying to satisfy general needs of communities and solve problems affecting families within intervention areas. Our multidiscplinary orientation (architecture, engeneering, training, psicology, human rights etc.) allows us a wide intervention and creates transversal processes devoted to the improvement of general life, health and food conditions. Our contribution in societies building’s based on values such as solidarity, freindship, love, peace and cooperation between people and cultures, respecting cutoms, genders and religions. In addtion to our practical intervention with respective projects, we econourage activities on the safeguard of environement, culture and customs as far as preservation of Fundamental Human Rights, focusing the attention of international community through the organization of events.)

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