Winning projects of Kaira Looro Competition for a Cultural Center in Senegal

A tribute to African cultures. Hundred-years old cultures give birth to Communities, being transmitted through rhymes of those who are narrating it and interpretating tha past through wisdom.

by Balouo Salo
8 Love 21104 Visits

(1st prize)


Human’s accomplishments are the result of rituals and metamorphosis, bonding the human being to its own roots through dance, history, music, colours, flavours, materials and landscapes. From this concept the participants took inspiration for the design process of a Cultural Center in Sedhiou, Senegal.

Kaira Looro Competition 2018 - Cultural Center” is the second edition of the International Architecture Competition Kaira Looro, whose project theme for this year is the design of a Cultural Center in the city of Sedhiou, Senegal, with the aim of conserving and passing on secular traditions, currently endangered by globalization and migratory phenomena.

Kaira Looro, that in Mandingo language means "Architecture for Peace", is not just architecture, but it also represents a link to culture, spirituality and research of interiority. The main idea of the competition is to develop a deep research in the field of design in developing countries and for emergencies, but especially to give opportunities and visibility to young promises of the international architectural scene.
The competition is organized by the Nonprofit Organization Balouo Salo with the collaboration of the University of Tokyo, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Sedhiou Region and other international partners.

Winning projects have been nominated by an internationally renowned jury made up of: Kengo Kuma, Toshiki Hirano (University of Tokyo), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA), Azzurra Muzzonigro (Stefano Boeri Architetti), René Bouman (Mohn+Bouman Architects), Camillo Magni (ASF), Angelo Ferrara, Pilar Diez Rodriguez, Rainer Kasik (X Architekten), Sebastiano D'Urso (University of Catania), Giuseppe Mazzaglia (Kaan Architects), Ignazio Lutri (In/Arch), Raoul Vecchio (Balouo Salo).
On 20th may 2018, the jury nominated 25 awarderd projects: 1st , 2nd and 3rd prize, 2 honorable mentions nominated by Kengo Kuma , 5 mentions and 15 finalists. First prize is a cash prize and an internship at Kengo Kuma & Associates in Tokyo. All awarded project will be published in Kaira Looro official book, hosted in exhibitions and published on articles and magazines.

The first prize of the second edition of Kaira Looro Competition goes to the project CWS - Culture Well of Sédhiou, developed by the Italian team composed by Giacomo Spanio, Sergiu Cernea, Paolo Reali, Nicola Puppin.

The second prize goes to Kaira Looro | Architecture for Peace, by another Italian team made up of Giulia Grazioli and Giulia Cascioli.

A Spanish project by Sergio González Torres, Ana Méndez Garzom and Santiago Cañete Sánchez, Filter for shelter, won the third prize. Others awarded teams come from Brazil, China, France, Kosovo, Norway, Mexico, Portugal, Canada, Poland, Romania and Greece. Last year, the first edition of Kaira Looro Competition Sacred Architecture was won by a polish team.

Also this year the entire proceeds, derived from the registration fees of the participants, were entirely donated to the humanitarian organization Balouo Salo, which operates in Africa to solve the social and environmental problems that afflict local communities.

This year, as the last one, the competition received an exceptional participation from all over the world with over 500 competing projects from over 50 different countries. The proposals showed considerable sensitivity to the theme of the competition and to the context of intervention. The event thus becomes a promoter of architectural research issues for particular social and environmental contexts, as well as a witness to humanitarian initiatives.

The winning projects are available online on the official website of the competition and will be transmitted to the international media of the sector. Moreover, a dedicated book "Kaira Looro Architecture Competition - Cultural Center" will be published with all the winning projects, and, also in this case, the proceeds will be donated for humanitarian purposes.


2nd prize:


3rd prize:


Others awarded projects:





    • Balouo  Salo

      Balouo Salo

      Aci Castello / Italy

      Balouo Salo is a no profit-association created with the aim of solving social and environmental emergiencies, contributing to the improvement of life conditions of disadvantaged communities living in developing countries to the purpose of raise awareness of the international community, with particular reference of emergency issues and safeguarding both environment and culture. Our approach is entirely voluntary and humanitarian and it is based on principles of parity and equality with the ultimate goal of giving self sufficiency.)

    CWS - Culture Well of Sédhiou 6

    CWS - Culture Well of Sédhiou

    Sédhiou / Senegal / 2018

    Kaira Looro | Architecture for Peace 1

    Kaira Looro | Architecture for Peace

    Sédhiou / Senegal / 2018

    Filter for shelter 1

    Filter for shelter

    Sédhiou / Senegal / 2018