Part of a bigger strategy
LEVS was commissioned by Partners Pays-Dogon to design a new community centre in the rural commune of Wadouba in Mali. As part of a bigger strategy which includes ensuring water supply and food production, the project is a spin-off location to support local initiatives and stimulate new developments. It will play an important role in enabling the creation of new partnerships in the surrounding villages.
The centre will provide a space for meetings and practical training of residents in general and women’s groups in particular. The building consists of a multifunctional hall with an adjoining veranda where meetings can also be organized outdoors. Attached to the hall there are several smaller spaces for offices and storage rooms. Especially the storage of onions has proven to have a very positive impact on the local economy: By temporarily storing the onions in a well-ventilated storage area women can keep the harvest for a much longer period of time and also sell it out of season.
First run with hand pressed earth blocks
The community centre is our first project being built with hand pressed earth blocks. They were produced on site using an innovative hand press machine developed by students of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Dutch firm Oskam and LEVS architecten. The construction process was used as an apprenticeship project for masonry students who graduated from the Practical Training College in Sangha, another LEVS project located three hours’ drive from Wadouba. Apart from the use of local building materials, our design includes another element linking the architecture to the local culture: the local community will make the doors out of hand-woven, indigo painted fabrics and decorate them with traditional patterns.