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Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Senegal Architecture News - Jul 17, 2023 - 10:13   1960 views

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Kaira Looro international architecture competition, held by humanitarian organisation Balouo Salo, has announced winners for its Primary School Competition, which aimed to "secure the right to education" in rural areas of Senegal.

The competition was announced in earlier this year and open to young architects, engineers and designers from all over the world. Once again, this year we dealt with the important issue of defending and promoting human rights, and in particular the right to education, as well as Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

"In fact, the right to education is a fundamental and inalienable human right, as well as a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet for over 600 million children around the world this right is not guaranteed due to fragile economic, political and health conditions and the presence of conflicts, natural disasters, stereotypes or socio-cultural prejudices," said the organization. 

"In Sub-Saharan Africa, most schools are unable to offer services that protect students, make them feel safe and encourage the fulfilment of their potential. Without a quality education, children are unable to acquire the skills necessary to face life's problems and to find employment. They are also unable to participate in the decisions that affect them, thus putting their own future at risk."

The 2023 edition was held on the basis of these considerations and was aimed at identifying a model of school architecture capable of protecting this right, improving the psycho-physical and hygienic conditions of students in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and improving learning and teaching mechanisms. The other objectives of the competition are to increase the visibility of emerging architectural talent and to support the event’s humanitarian aims, as 100% of the proceeds are donated to Balouo Salo’s charity projects.

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Winning project of the Kaira Looro Competition – 2023 Edition. Project by Artha Krisiantara from Indonesia, courtesy of the artist

The announcement required participants to design an architecture project of a maximum of 650 square meters, which can be easily built in self-construction mode by the community, makes use of sustainable materials and technologies and is compatible with the environmental and cultural context of the rural areas in southern Senegal. Participants had to think of a spatial distribution that contained classrooms, a canteen, offices, warehouses, areas for educational laboratories and toilets. 

"The project area was any rural area in southern Senegal where Balouo Salo has been operating since 2014 with the implementation of various projects to promote access to drinking water, schooling, sustainability and human rights," said Balouo Salo. 

"This is one of the least developed areas of the country: poverty affects about 90% of the population; sanitary conditions are among the worst nationwide and only 8% of the population has access to drinking water." 

"70% of the population lives in houses without access to electricity. These conditions have a direct impact on the lives of minors and on student drop-out rate after secondary school, which is estimated to be around 60%," the organization added.

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kaira Looro Competition – 2023 Edition - 2nd place. Project by Rotem Fintz and Niv Arbiv from Isreael, courtesy of the artist

World Architecture Community is official media partner of the 2023 edition of Kaira Looro Competition, and is sharing the results of the competition with short project descriptions below. 

The received entries were evaluated by a jury composed of prominent architects including: Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA | Blengini Ghirardelli), Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT Miralles Tagliabue), Mphethi Morojele (MMA Design Studio), Manuel Aires Mateus (Aires Mateus Architects), Raul Pantaleo (TAM Associati), Mphethi Morojele (MMA Design Studio), Emmanuelle Moureaux (Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture + Design), Saad El Kabbaj, Driss Kettani and Mohamed Amine Siana, as well as a scientific committee composed of Raoul Vecchio (Balouo Salo), Sebastiano D’Urso (Università di Catania), Dario Distefano (Archicart), Mulaye Diebate (Balouo Salo) and other experts in sustainable architecture and humanitarian interventions.

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kaira Looro Competition – 2023 Edition - 3rd place. Project by Anthony Mancuso from Tunisia, courtesy of the artist

The Balouo Salo announced the 50 winning projects which include 1st prize, 2nd prize, 3rd prize, 2 Honourable Mentions, 5 Special Mentions, 20 Finalists and 20 Top 50.

The winning team will receive a cash prize of €5,000 and an internship at the prestigious Tokyo studio Kengo Kuma & Associates. 

The teams in 2nd and 3rd place will receive €2,000 and €1,000 respectively, as well as internships at EMBT Miralles Tagliabue studio in Spain and SBGA Blengini Ghiradelli studio in Italy. 

The winner of the 2023 edition is Artha Krisiantara from Indonesia. The second prize was won by a team from Israel made up of Rotem Fintz and Niv Arbiv. Finally, the third prize was won by Youssef Hamza and Anthony Mancuso from Tunisia.

Scroll down to see the 2023 Kaira Looro Primary School Competition with their short project descriptions below: 


Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Images courtesy of Artha Krisiantara

1st prize: Artha Krisiantara from Indonesia

"In South Senegal, where children are struggling against hunger, labor exploitation, and being domestic workers, will be built a friendly and compassionate school, respectful of those who have struggled to survive and still have the passion to seek knowledge. This school is like a beating heart, pumping up the spirit of love and offering new, bright hope to those under its auspices. Education is not only about imparting knowledge but also about creating an environment that supports growth and strong social relationships. Therefore, in this design, the basic form of the school and the programs contained therein were overhauled and repositioned to create a new, flexible volume. The journey starts from the entrance which provides a different experience for each individual who passes through it, depending on the proportions of their body. Those who need food can go to the canteen which has been prepared with food supplies." Read more

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Images courtesy of Rotem Fintz and Niv Arbiv

2nd prize: Rotem Fintz and Niv Arbiv from Isreael

"The concept for this school revolves around the idea of openness and community. The school is designed as a cohesive united block, symbolizing the unity of the community. Its outer shell opens and spreads, allowing the school building to be accessible to its students and the community. Despite this openness, the building remains interconnected through its corners, as a reminder of the importance of the community’s connection. Taking inspiration from the common single-structured schools in Senegal, creating 650 sqm of the different school programs, we approached the design by deconstructing and reorganizing the structure like a puzzle game. This transformation resulted in the creation of two yards and flexible inviting spaces, serving as a hub for cross-curricular activities for both the school and the community. The school's architectural design includes a sloping roof that serves a dual purpose" Read more

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Images courtesy of Anthony Mancuso

3rd prize: Anthony Mancuso from Tunisia

"Access to education is fundamental since it contributes to the social integration, economic growth and development of a country. An elementary school model capable of protecting and fostering the development of the potential of each child therefore comes as a fundamental response in the development of Africa. We see the school as an essential place for personal and collective development where it is necessary to have the conditions favoring learning through exchange. The school must be able to accommodate varied exchanges, calm or festive, such as the transmission of a teacher to a student, manual activities, or cultural celebrations. It must go beyond the status of a purely school place to become a support facility for multidisciplinary education capable of adapting and developing in all the rural areas of southern Senegal. It must bring people together to promote exchanges and learning with each other. Thus, our primary school is a simple, elegant and rational proposal." Read more


Honourable Mentions were selected by Kengo Kuma & Balouo Salo

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of XMichał Pietrusiewicz, Justyna Błasiak, Krzysztof Afeltowicz

Honourable Mention: XMichał Pietrusiewicz, Justyna Błasiak, Krzysztof Afeltowicz from Poland

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of Tristan Narcy

Honourable Mention: Tristan Narcy from France


Special Mentions

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of Francesco Ricchiuti, Valentina Margiotta

Special Mention: Francesco Ricchiuti, Valentina Margiotta from Italy

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of Zhiqian Xu, Yongdi Li

Special Mention: Zhiqian Xu, Yongdi Li from USA

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of Thao Pham Hoai Cam, My Vo Thi Huyen, Minh Cai Gia, Tuan Ho Nhu

Special Mention: Thao Pham Hoai Cam, My Vo Thi Huyen, Minh Cai Gia, Tuan Ho Nhu from Vietnam 

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of Nhung Pham, Ho Duy Pham

Special Mention: Nhung Pham, Ho Duy Pham from Vietnam

Kaira Looro announces winners for primary school in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image courtesy of Bao Truong Dinh, Khanh Nguyen Ngoc Minh

Special Mention: Bao Truong Dinh, Khanh Nguyen Ngoc Minh from Vietnam

Top image: 1st prize: Artha Krisiantara from Indonesia, courtesy of Artha Krisiantara.

> via Kaira Looro Competition

humanitarian competition Kaira Looro winners