Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.
The teachers at this regional training center for 80 youths developed a simple, low-cost, low-technology structural system, based upon a UNESCO prototype, which they have used to construct their own buildings. Solid, load bearing sand and cement block walls, and masonry arches, parallel to one another, support short-span barrel vaults. The vaults, whose thickness at the crown is only a little over 4 centimetres, were formed using three layers of cement mortar stabilised with wire mesh at the top of the vault. Rounded plywood struts were used to support the shuttering formed from millet matting. Buttresses counteract the horizontal thrust of the vaults. The jury commended the project's architects and builders for developing "a complete architectural language whose forms, sober and beautiful at the same time, correspond to its social ambience. A labour-intensive building system has been used here to revitalise masonry construction by training a local craftsman who in turn has trained others. It has thus provided a model for a number of different projects in Senegal."