Officé Nigérian de l'Energie Solaire (ONERSOL) aims to provide facilities for the research, fabrication, and development of solar energy, the associated administration and documentation facilities, and accommodation for temporary staff. Conceived with the objective of re-introducing traditional forms by adapting them to new functions and of using traditional materials, the project also exploits the use of solar energy for mechanical air-conditioning.
Located in a residential area on the outskirts of Niamey, the site is surrounded by others designated to future academic projects. The building is composed of four distinct parts joined by internal courtyards with peripheral galleries. The composition is a direct result of the group of following activities: public facilities; residential facilities; research and development block; and a fabrication block.
The composition is well adapted to local climatic conditions and has taken into consideration the following considerations: north/south orientation for openings; peripherial external and internal circulation galleries; courtyard organisation, to permit natural ventilation; façades composed of vertical structural elements acting as sunbreakers; and blind façades protected from the sun by an oblique spaced double wall, acting as a chimney and creating continuous air flow. The structure is essentially load bearing concrete block walls, between which span metal trusses. Walls are stabilized mud bricks, made on-site and finished with pigmented cement plaster.
Solar Energy Center On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1983.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.