architect_ Enrico Casini, Edoardo Daniele Stuggiu, Lorenzo Bacci
location_ Tanaff, Senegal
project year_ 2017
from the architects_ The meaning of “religion” alludes to bind or to fence something. In these terms, religions had done a relevant operation of restraint of the holy dimension, a kind of spatial containment of the sacred space such as fenced place, protected from the chaotic external word. The principles of spirituality are translated in architecture through the self-building, becoming a container of light.
Therefore, the construction, turning towards the Kibla, is erected on a basement which becomes at the same time foundation, in order to be protected from the storms caused by the typical heavy rainfalls of these areas. The closed space used to pray, in addition to the spiritual features, has valuable qualities of thermic welfare, thanks to its constructive technology. The constructive system of the semi-spherical involucre involves the use of recycled bottles in order to substitute the traditional architectural element of the brick. Hence, into the bottles is inserted sand and they are laid onsite with a binder agent made by mud and concrete. Finally, when the entire structure is solidified, a few bottles – bricks will be emptied, obtaining holes which will let air and light needed pass, in addition to the natural one emitted by the opening on the top of the dome. Inside the room is also placed a water tank which is used both to symbolize the spirituality both to cool the air. The space around the closed room to pray is protected by a shell of crafted panels realized by the inhabitants who are able to express in this way their personal spirituality. The entire system is withstood by a broad amount of massive pillars which determine the area of the prayer giving it an important emotional impact.
Courtesy of Enrico Casini