Located in the lush Gounti Yenna Valley of Niger’s capital, the Niamey Cultural Center will fill a void in a city with a dearth of cultural venues and outlets.
Most importantly, it will provide a place for learning, for dreaming, a place of levity that draws its programme from local community conversations about culture, traditions and aspirations. The project’s concept takes inspiration from Hausa and Songhai traditional architecture. It puts a strong accent on climate mitigation solutions and sustainable practices of using local materials, rainwater harvesting and solar energy, while allowing the continued use of the site as an urban agriculture hub. It is shaped to be an integral part of the city, accessible to all, and a natural gathering point for the population.
The group of buildings will contain a performance auditorium, gallery, cafe, community facilities and a library, which will be the first municipal library built in the city since the country's independence.
The cultural centre will consist of five buildings in total, four of which will have distinctive semi-circular towers.
Each of the towers will mark the entrance to the buildings and will partially enclose an outdoor courtyard space to create a series of connected passages and open spaces.
The project is designed for the exterior spaces to be as important as the enclosed program with pedestrian paths and gathering spaces breaking what would have been a massive building into smaller structures.
Its colour and texture make the buildings seem to grow from the ground, an icon for the city in its monumentality, but familiar in maintaining the same relationship to the earth as the architecture of the region has had for centuries.
Project Type: Cultural Center/Institution
Location: Niamey, Niger
GFA: 8980 sqm
Number of floors: 5 Floors
Area construction: 2990 sqm
Height: 22.30 m
Materials: compressed earth bricks and reinforced concrete structure
Site area: 9690 sqm
Founder & Principal Architect: Mariam Kamara
Project Manager: Ramatou Kane
Senior Architect: Raymond Oloo
Senior Architect: Aaron Nkhoma
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