Cartography, as a word, derives from the ancient greek words of ‘’charti’’ (paper) and ‘’graphia’’ (writting-designing).
A Greek-English dictionary describes Cartography as the scientific sector of geography, which includes the study of the topographical characteristics of areas and the creation of maps representing them.
The footprints of the map, the topography of the surrounding area, its particular morphology, and specific elements of the traditional local architecture are used as design references for the conceptual principles of the project. These elements combined with a sustainable design and local materials seek to offer a functional and aesthetically enhanced teaching environment for the new school.
Location: Kafountine, Senegal
Category: Architecture, Competition
Dimitris Stefanakis – Studio 99, Thanos Mousmoulidis – MID Studio, Makis Dimitrelos – M.Arch Architect Engineer
Plaisio S.A, Structural and mechanical design of the existing buildings, Interform S.A, Structural and mechanical design of the special structures
The initial phase starts with the design of the surrounding wall, a fluid polyline inspired by the patterns and footprint of the canals of the Casamance River. This curvilinear design element works as a boundary separating the school from its surrounding, implementing a dialogue between inside and outside with openings covered with bamboo sticks. The wall is inspired by the river while, at the same time, hosts a water canal on top of it, which collects the rainwater from the roofs of the classrooms and deposit it into the water tank on the northeast of the plot.
Kafou N t i n e
ne g a L.
In contradiction with the fluid geometry of the surrounding earth-wall, the school’s program and design elements such as floor, amphitheater, and walkways are designed based on a rigid grid. The rectangular shapes of the plots of Kafountine town are dismantled and re-found at the school entrance. The grid layout ensures functionality and ease of construction.
The functions of the building are developed around the public space and the courtyard, which are placed at the center of the plot. In an attempt to enhance a communal style of living, the layout of traditional settlements is taken into consideration, where the buildings are constructed around the public space, embraced by the surrounding buildings and the outer wall as their boundary.