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1st Prize - Team: OMONIOALY346 from Italy
Project by: Giacomo Spanio, Sergiu Cernea, Paolo Reali, Nicola Puppin.

The proposal for the new Cultural Centre of Sédhiou is designed to be context-sensitive and to link traditional elements with modern shapes. Rainwater harvesting and purification with natural methods had a central role during the design process.

The solution of the Venetian well was chosen because it uses sand and clay to naturally purify water, which are materials that can be found in Sédhiou. The well became a pivotal element of the building, which is constructed around it. Thus the building has a central courtyard which is characterized by both the presence of the impluvium and the well. The impluvium, which resemble the Pompeii Domus, has a dual purpose. When it is dry, the impluvium becomes an outdoor space where people can sit in the shade; when it rains, it is a tank where rainwater is collected and starts the purification process of underground filtering.

The perforated brick wall of the pavilions and the bamboo roof slightly raised above them guarantee two advantages. The first is the natural ventilation in the building and the second one is to protect visitors from direct sunlight. Therefore, the light inside the building is diffused and soft. The orientation of the building and the position of the walls that surround it were designed taking into account the monsoon direction in that area. A curved wall surrounds the building passing through the trees and contains the service area. The construction materials reflect a strong relation with the local environment and aim at reducing costs and construction time. The use of concrete is limited to the basement, whereas walls are made of earth bricks covered in clay plaster and the roof is made of intersected bamboo.

The project is designed to have a great impact on the population of Sédhiou, but is respectful of its tradition. It is intended to be a new meeting point for the people of the town, with a strong modern attitude in its forms, but it respects the natural and cultural context in which is placed and the local construction techniques.

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