HUT is a Design Concept for a Spiritual Center in Senegal by KPRA as an Entry in the Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition

HUT is a multi-layered, elliptical structure intended for the inhabitants of Senegalese Village of Tanaf, as a place of peace and spirituality. The design concept was put together by an Italian architecture collective, KPRA, as a submission for the Kaira Looro International Architecture Competition which closed in April this year.

The competition sought to challenge designers to conceptualise a community-driven spiritual center for the aforementioned village. The collective made up of Italian architects Piergiacomo Acerboni, Andrea Redaelli, Danilo Tomasoni and Michele Amadori, explored the concept of synergy between the interior and exterior facades of the building as well the flexibility and sustainability of the structure. Here’s their description as culled from their behance page,

HUT, a spiritual place made for the Tanaf Village in Senegal, is not just architecture. It represents the link to a culture, a spirituality and research of interiority through the synthesis between interior and exterior as well as offering new spaces for leisure and meditation that, without any religious references, evoke deep spirituality through void sublimation.

As the name stated, the project is deeply linked with the typical african dwelling as the exterior, even if porous, clearely declares through its strength while interiors are divided by elliptical brick walls in two different fluid and sinuos ambients conceived for the spiritual life of the village: the main hall and the ring.


The main hall, softly illuminated by the roof hole, is destined to community prayer and spiritual ceremonies while the ring includes paths and meditative spaces with relaxing views on the backyard. In that sense HUT is an empty space of time where past, present and future mix together, transforming the “void” into an architectural element that properly shaped gives lightness and spirituality emphasized through lines, colors and volumes.

Elements that combined with a deep sense of peace and silence transmitted by the building invite humans to an interior research under a unique and impressive roof. This choice of not providing internal subdivisions to spaces is also determinated by the possibility of quickly turn HUT into a small first aid center in case of emergency. As the challenge is to design a sustainable and culturally-driven architecture for a place with lack of materials and with low technology the strategy is focused on the use of local, recycle and handmade materials.

This choice, besides giving a traditional aspect to the building, transforming it into a symbol for the whole country able to humbly affect the landscape by marking the boundary that separates the land from the divine, involves inhabitants in the construction process, helping to increase the sense of belonging to the community.

You can view the winning entries for the competition here.

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