WHAT architecture - London

Abene Karantaa

Scale sqm
LocationAbene, Senegal
Design Year2012


Abene is a small rural village in the Cassamance region on the coast of Senegal. Literacy and numeracy levels are low among adults. Many children are unable to attend the local primary school in the village because they cannot afford to pay the fees. Those children that can go to school are frequently affected by school closures as a result of staff strikes. Employment is mostly informal. Many adults are unemployed or earning the minimum wage of £1.50 a day.
The Abene Karantaa Project is a non-profit project that is working to build and run a rural community learning centre. The centre will be steered by members of the community, ensuring it best meets their needs. The project would make a real difference to the lives of people in the local community. The following skills areas have been highlighted for development: basic accounting, business skills, literacy, English, primary and secondary level education, information communication technology. Comprised of volunteers from the local community, the Steering Committee will oversee and direct the project. Skilled facilitators will be provided with accommodation and a stipend equivalent to the average local wage.
BRIEF: To design up three dwellings and a learning centre utilising local building techniques andskills and to maximise the potential of the 50 x 50m plot.