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.