The theme of the contest is sacred architecture in Senegal (Africa), in fact the name of the competition is “Kaira Looro Competition” (Architecture for Peace “in Mandinka language). The initiative has two objectives: the development of research in architecture on issues of social emergencies and sustainable architecture, and contributing to a humanitarian emergency in Senegal that our organization wants to solve, in fact competition entries will be entirely devolved to charity to the humanitarian project “A Bridge for life” which aims to improve living conditions 80,000 people in emergency. For more information on this project can visit the official website: www.balouosalo.com.

The competition is open to architects, designers and students from around the world; so the competition notice is translated in 8 languages. Registration will open for the 20th January, 2017, with annunciations of the winners in 23 th May 2017. There will be cash prizes (with sponsor) to 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, mentions and finalists. The winning team, other the cash prizes, will be have the opportunity to do an internship at the Kengo Kuma Office in Tokyo. Others there will be publications, articles and exhibitions of winning projects .




Kaira Looro are two words in Mandinga language, the main culture in Tanaf. The greetings of welcome or farewell, are not simple greetings of “good morning” or “good evening”, but they are real good wishes and prayers for the peace of others. Often people greet each other “Alma kaira siyaa laa”, or that “God will give you peace.”

Kaira Looro, that in Mandingo language means “Architecture for Peace”, is not just architecture, but it also represents the link to a culture, a spirituality and research of interiority. The challenge is to celebrate this cult philosophy by de- signing a sustainable and culturally driven architecture, for a place with a lack of materials and with low technology.



To design a place of worship means creating a new landmark, but also giving substance to a culture of a community, being lightweight and graceful to under- stand its spirituality.

This competition has to show and de- scribe the theme thanks to an impressive design also being integrated and able to become a symbol for all the country. Carefully included into the landscape, it will represent the conjunction between earthly and divine.

The project has to respect the following parameters:
- maximum imprint on the ground is xed at 350mq; maximum height is 30m. Please consider that existing buildings don’t exceed 6m high.

– even if a low cost and sustainable approach is highly recommended, proper innovative solutions, also including high-tech, are welcome.

– it is important to have a keen eye for timing and construction conditions, remind always that it’s difficult to find specialized workers on place.

– natural and local materials are highly recommended.
 please consider that when in operation, the structure should minimize the consumption of water.

– it would be better if the structure is able to celebrate different kind of worship (Muslim, Christian, Orthodox, Animism) as any potential sanitary or environmental emergency.

All the necessary documentation, such as photos of the location of intervention, video, drawings (cad) can be found on the website also before registering for the competition. All the uploaded documents can only be used to attend the Kaira Looro Competition.


From 1980 to 2005, the region of Casamance, in the far South of Senegal, has been marked by war with more the 20.000 displaced people and 5.000 human casualties. Since 1965, the same region, had to face devastating drought that is still affecting the Sahel, producing high temperatures and reduction of the rain water. The name of the region comes from the river Casamance, that flows through three regions: Ziguinchor, Kolda and Sedhiou.

The site of intervention is located in the village of Tanaf, inside the region of Sedhiou, at the boundary with Guinea-Bissau and so it is a crucial frontier for the entire region.

Tanaf is also overlooking a valley called Tanaf Bolong. Here, the sides of the riverbed are almost at. Rise fields and other cultivations used to fill the valley before the climate change. Today, because of the drought and the salt intrusion, everything has been destroyed: tides from the Atlantic Ocean run through the Casamance river and reach the valley; the water has a salt concentration which is five times than the ocean’s one; the groundwater is also infected. All of these problems affect 80.000 people of 350 villages and communities who live in the valley.

In front of Tanaf, on the other side of valley, is situated the village of Baghere, where many of the most renowned Griot in Sedhiou have their place. Here it an important religious holiday is celebrate that attracts people from all over the country. The Griot is a mandinga socially emblematic figure. He is the one who keeps the knowledge by a community to orally pass on to future generations, also playing the Kora and singing.

Tanaf is the main village of the river basin on the Tanaf Bolong Valley. It is the one with the largest population (almost 4.000) and deepest supply of resources (market, school, hospital). Inside the village there is a Mosque and a Christian church which are in bad structural conditions.

The soil is characterized by a red laterite stone, full of iron, and a sequence of sandbanks and clay banks. There are several laterite’s quarries and the forest of Balmadou which provides the territory with many different tree species such as the Baobab, Palms and Mango.

The site of intervention (see the section “Download” on the website) is today waiting to host a mosque. Nevertheless, it is possible to find a different site to place the project, provided that design requirements are observed.


The aim of the competition is to create a holy architecture which should become a symbol for the territory and help communities to overcome difficulties.

The winning project will be given to the Non Profit International Organization Balouo Salo and then will be donated to Tanaf community to build it.

The Balouo Salo OINP reserves the right to adopt the proposal as a charity project and to engage the awarded team during the construction.

This competition is also promoted as a financial contribution to the humanitarian project carried out by the OINP Balouo Salo. All the application fees will be donated to “A Bridge for Life” (www.balouo- salo.com).


Early Registration

Open: 20 January 2017

Close: 14 February 2017 (h 23.59 GMT)

Normal Registration

Open: 15 February 2017

Close: 08 March 2017 (h 23.59 GMT)

Late Registration
Open: 09 March 2017

Close: 31 March 2017 (h 23.59 GMT)

Submission deadline :

23 April 2017 Jury Summoning : 01-7 May 2017 Results announcement: 14 May 2017


Kengo Kuma_Kengo Kuma & Associates

Agostino Ghiradelli_SBGA/Blengini Ghirardelli Associati

Azzurra Muzzonigro_Stefano Boeri Architetti/Politecnico di Milano

Pilar Diez Rodriguez_Pilar Diez Rodriguez

Carmine Chiraelli_Arco

Rainer Kasik_X Architekten

Angelo Ferrara_Juri Troy Architects

Rene Bouman_Mohn + Bouman Architects

Ko Nakamura_Kengo Kuma Lab/Mosaic Design

Sebastiano D’Urso_University of Catania

Ignazio Lutri_IN/Arch

Walter Baricchi_CNAPPC

Ibrahim Gomis_Mayor of Tanaf



€ 2,500
(considered such as cover expenses) Internship at Kengo Kuma Associates, Tokyo
Award plaque 
Possible realization of the project Publication on websites and architectural format
 Exposure in architectural events


€ 1,000
(considered such as cover expenses) Award plaque 
Publication on websites and architectural format 
Exposure in architectural events


€ 500
(considered such as cover expenses) Award plaque 
Publication on websites and architectural format
Exposure in architectural events


Digital certificate
Publication on websites and architectural format
Exposure in architectural events


digital certificate
Publication on websites and architectural format
Exposure in architectural events

All the awarded proposals will be transmitted to architectural magazines and websites, will be hosted in international exhibitions.

The participants will upload these material:

  • n. 1 A1 layout (841 x 594mm) in .pdf format, written in English,300 dpi, maxi- mum size 10 mb, horizontal layout.
This layout must contain:
  1. design concept / conceptual idea;
b. graphic framework aimed to illustrate the project (i.e. plans, facades, cross- sections) , choosing what to display and the relative scale is up to competitor’s choice;
c. 3d views – i.e. renderings, pictures, hand sketches;
File name: A1_<TeamID>.pdf (es. if “Tea- mID” is 123 , le must be named A1_123_ pdf )
  • n. 1 report pdf(A4 layout), maximum characters 2.00, written in English,
File name: A4_<TeamID>.pdf (es. if “Tea- mID” is 123 , le must be named A4_123.pdf ). The report cannot contain any pictures.
  • n. 1 cover .jpeg or .pdf format 1920×1080 pixel size. It should be a relevant image showing the project that will become its avatar icon, maximum size 10 mb

File name: Cover_<TeamID>.jpg (es. if “TeamID” is 123 , le must be named Cover_123.jpg)

Text should be synthetic and written in English. Layouts cannot contain any name or reference to designers. Layouts can have also group’s “TeamID” on it. The teamID has to be written also into the le name.





‘Borders’ by arch out loud


Borders hold deep meaning, but they are just lines. Throughout history, the definition of territory has remained a fundamental determinant of power. Borders carry immense historical, political, and cultural implications; at the center of conflict, there is delineation; there is drawing lines. Borders are representations in plan view–lines on a map which are not necessarily tied to any physical thing. At most, they materialize in the common form of a wall which seldom traces the entire length of the border it delineates. One notable exception is the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

arch out loud challenges designers to explore the possibility of creating an underground bath house within the Korean Demilitarized Zone which responds to the surrounding geopolitical conditions. New forms of non-military architecture could occupy this border zone and begin to ease the existing tension. The role tourism can play in opening relations across a border begs the question: How does architecture position itself in the middle of this condition of tension?



Prizes total to $10,000

Overall winner – $5,000 + AO feature and publication

Runner-ups – $1,000 each + AO feature and publication (10)

Honorable mentions – AO feature and publication Director’s Choice Award – AO feature and publication



Stan Allen – Founder & Principal, Stan Allen Architects | Former Dean & Current Professor, Princeton University

Moon Hoon – Founder & Principal, Moon Hoon Architects
Jing Liu – Founder & Partner, SO-IL

Lola Sheppard – Founder & Partner, Lateral Office
Minsuk Cho – Founder & Principal, Mass Studies

Kristy Balliet – Principal, Balliet Studio | Exhibited Work, US Pavilion, 2016 Venice Biennale | OSU Knowlton School of Architecture | SCI-Arc

Anna Neimark – Founder & Principal, First-Office | SCI-Arc

Nick Bonner – Founder, Koryo Studio | Founder, Koryo Tours

Seunghyun Kang – Associate, SO-IL

Matias del Campo – Founder, SPAN Architects | Taubman College of Architecture



Advance registration NOV 20TH, 2016

Early registration DEC 19TH, 2016

Regular registration JAN 18TH, 2017

Submission deadline FEB 17TH, 2017

Winners Announced MAR 14TH, 2017