The hive

Kaira Loroo The Hive Ecumenical Temple in Tanaf, Senegal

The Hive project proposes an ecumenical temple in the town of Tanaf, in Senegal. The region is affected by a pressing lack of basic infrastructures, so the multifunctionality of the space is essential.

The Hive Project, ecumenical temple in Tanaf.

The project houses differentiated sacred spaces for the different cults, a mosque, a church and an animist temple, connecting them with a profane space that unifies the whole and acts as an antechamber. The floor plan follows a geometric pattern formed by irregular pentagons, which allow the rooms to be clearly distinguished. When these pentagons are extruded in a truncated form upwards, we generate sacred areas, while doing it downwards we obtain profane areas. In this sense, the project deals with duality in reference to the opposition between the profane and the sacred, this being the backbone of the project.

The worship spaces are found in structures with a truncated pyramid shape, elevated from the ground, which creates high spaces illuminated from above in order to highlight its sacred nature. Materially, they are made up of an adobe wall structure providing a stereotomic condition to the sacred areas.

The profane space is a continuum that surrounds and unites the sacred areas, being partly below ground level. It houses a fountain of ablutions and several benches to live in a community sheltered in the shade. The roof is thatched in the traditional way of the area with straw. It rests on hollow pillars in the shape of an inverted truncated pyramid covered with latticework of braided branches, typical of the area. And that also make up the exterior facade of the project. Materially it is made with bamboo and wood providing a tectonic condition in contrast to sacred spaces.

Materiality, architecture in Africa

Taking into account the characteristics of the site, the materials and construction techniques take advantage of the resources of the environment such as clay, wood, or ceramics, not being necessary to import construction material. Structurally, the sacred modules provide a solid refuge from natural catastrophes, in addition, the rainwater is collected by collectors and transferred to a reservoir located below the mosque. This will provide clean water in an emergency and feed the ablution fountain.

In conclusion, The Hive is conceived as a refuge from physical hostility, such as inclement weather and metaphysical hostility, as the need for responses to existential anguish.

Project carried out in collaboration with: Chiara gallozzi


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