Sedhiou's Walls Of Tales

Cultural Center In Senegal

The Architecture of Senegal has been affected by modernity in the last few years, and the vernacular architecture of Senegal didn't aligned with contemporary people’s needs, so it has been ignored by the local community.
The idea of the design is to create a contemporary iconic architectural structure that is taking into consideration Sedhiou’s vernacular architecture spirit, preserving, and reformulating their local architectural language by giving it contemporary expressions to create an environment that’s suit local community needs and aspirations through dissolving the gap between their legacy and modernity.


Sedhiou's Cultural Center is constructed upon the local community’s narratives acting like a Griot transferring Sedhiou’s local cultures, pass them on, and preserve them. Consisting of four circular zones. The outdoor spaces between the huts create communal areas to separate the huts from the busy streetscape and also as a place for social interactions functions as an open community center for gathering local community under connected thatched roof mesh designed to be an iconic structure that is respecting Sedhiou’s skyline harmony, and its contemporary curves and lines shine under the west African sun.


The Cultural Center shows new innovative use of local materials, replacing the concrete walls with locally made compressed earth blocks, coupled with wide overhanging thatched dome that is designed to be capable of collecting domestic water usage in fresh rainfall. The openings in the thatched roof allow passive air circulation to cool the building and light to pass through the space and interactive patterns on the walls. The people of Sedhiou can participate in the construction activities by building their stories with their hands, and next generations also have the opportunity to add their stories on the walls where the walls are built to be timeless. The building will leave a wide social impact, hoping for a revival for their architecture history.

Design: CAI DESIGN STUDIO in collaboration with

Abdallah Mekawy &Hesham Hafez

Category: Architecture & Construction

Area: 950 m²

Location: Sedhiou, Senegal 

Year: 2018

Material: Local resourced CEB, Bamboo & Thatch


This Project was done by CAI in Partnership with HAND OVER.