Women’s House in Africa
An architecture competition that promotes equality and combats discrimination. The winning project will be built in southern Senegal.
The Kaira Looro Competition is an international architecture competition for students and young architects, the objective of which is to launch the careers of new architectural talent, raise awareness in the international community regarding the topics of emergency, and support humanitarian projects. Partners of the 2021 edition include international institutions from the “Gender Equality” sector, among which: WGDD of Africa Union Commission, UN Women West and Central Africa and the Ministry of Women of the Republic of Senegal.
Architects, designers, engineers, and students from around the world may participate in the competition. It is possible to participate in the competition individually or in teams, with one requirement: the presence of individuals under 35 years of age on the team.
The entries received will be evaluated by a jury made up of prominent architects and institutions, among which: Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates), Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT Miralles Tagliabue), Urko Sanchez (Urko Sanchez Architects), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA), Oulimata Sarr (Regional Director of UN Women West and Central Africa), Lehau Victoria Maloka ( Director of Women Gender and Development Directorate of African Union Commission), Salimata Diop Dieng (Minister of Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection of Senegal), Azzurra Muzzonigro (Sex and the City).
Awards will be given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, 2 honourable mentions, 2 special mentions, 20 finalists, and 20 Top 50. The winning project will receive a cash prize (5.000 €) and an internship at Kengo Kuma & Associates studio in Japan, as well as the construction of the project and its adoption on the part of the Ministry at the national level. The other internships will be awarded to the 2nd place team at the EMBT Miralles Tagliabue studio in Spain and to the 3rd place at the SBGA Blengini Ghiradelli Archtiects in Italy. Furthermore, all of the projects will be published on the competition’s website and in its official book, transmitted to 30 of the competition’s global media partners, and shared with institutional partners.
The WOMEN’S HOUSE, the object of this new edition, will be built in a small village in southern Senegal in order to promote gender equality as a key factor in rural development. This structure must be symbolic, environmentally friendly, inspired by local traditions, and capable of accommodating training events, seminars, and laboratories that raise awareness in the rural community regarding human rights and gender equality as the fifth fundamental objective of the “Sustainable Development Goals” established by the United Nations for the purpose of guaranteeing that everyone receive equal access to education, medical care, and employment, as well as a say in decision making processes, thereby promoting sustainable economies which are a benefit to society and humanity and as a whole.
The challenge which participants will have to face is that of designing a humanitarian structure in which the various members of society will be able to meet and discuss the topics of equality and human rights: a space measuring a maximum of 150 square meters, with only a ground floor, built with natural materials and using sustainable technologies in a process of self-construction with the benefiting community itself.
The competition is organised by the Balouo Salo Non Profit Organisation, engaged in charitable projects in Africa, and all proceeds (obtained from the participation fees) will be donated to the construction of the winning project in a village in southern Senegal, where the organisation itself operates.
Enrolment in the competition begins on 16 January 2021. The calendar will adhere to the following stages.
Opening of “early” registrations | 16/01/2021
Closing of “early” registrations | 02/28/2021 (h 11.59 pm GMT)
Opening of “normal” registrations | 1/03/2021
Closing of “normal” registrations | 28/03/2021 (h 11.59 pm GMT)
Opening of “late” registrations | 29/03/2021
Late registration closing | 30/04/2021 (h 11.59 pm GMT)
FAQ response deadline | 8/05/2021
Delivery deadline for documents | 30/05/2021
Evaluation of the jury | 13-20 / 06/2021
Publication of results | 06/27/2020