The National Park of Mali, located in the capital, Bamako, reopened for the 50th anniversary of the country's independence, The interventions carried out for the occasion consisted of a landscaping project (by the consultants of Planning Partners International) and the construction of new facilities such as the National Museum of Mali (by the team directed by Jean-Loup Pivin), the new zoo (by Ivan Mata), and the four unique pieces designed by Diebedo Francis Kere: two new accesses to the park, a sports center and a restaurant. The restaurant is located in the upper area of a rocky outcrop and develops along several levels. The building is structured in four volumes, addressing each one of the restaurant's functions. The site suggested the main guidelines for the building's design, which focuses on bringing the spectactular views of the park and a nearby lake inside.
The sports center follows the same architectural language as the restaurant. It consists of three pavilions that are organized around an interior courtyard with an elliptical footprint, in which the buildings are arranged to ensure as much shade as possible both in the courtyard and in the interior spaces. The relationships between interior and exterior, therefore, have also been important in the conception of the building.
The design of the new access buildings also follows the same approach. Thanks to this use of a single aesthetic code, the different interventions are endowed with a shared, unique and recognizable image within the park. All the buildings are clad with local stone, which emphasizes the identity of place and reduces construction costs. The stone walls also provide natural thermal insulation, helping to control temperature in the interior spaces.
Furthermore, the large projecting roof surfaces shade the facades and provide natural climate control.
Source: Luis Fernández-Galiano (ed.) Atlas: Architectures of the 21st Century. Africa and Middle East. Bilbao: Fundación BBVA, 2011.