Kaira Looro Competition for Sacred Architecture


A tribute to the sacredness in a remote place of the earth.

A national symbol for the spirituality of Senegal. Introspection, spirituality and divinity. These are the elements around which the sacred architecture revolves. The light and the lightness of the materials join sacred and profane, creating an architecture that, through spaces and forms, try to invite humans to an introspective research.

The competition is open to architects, designers, engineers and students. It’s possible to participate as a team or individually.


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 designing a sustainable and culturally-driven architecture, for a place with a lack of materials and with low technology.

To design place of worship means creating a new landmark, but also giving substance to a culture of a community, being lightweight and graceful to understand its spirituality. This competition has to show and describe 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 internationally jusy is composed by Kengo Kuma, Ko Nakamura (University of Tokyo), A. Ghirardelli (SBGA ), A. Muzzonigro (Stefano Boeri Architects), R. Bouman (Mohn + Bouman Architects) C. Chiarelli (Arcò), A. Ferrara (Juri Troy Architects), Pilar Diez Rodriguez, R. Kasik (X Architekten), S. D’Urso (University of Catania), I. Gomis (Tanaf Mayor), I. Lutri (InArch), W. Baricchi (CNAPPC).


Early registration – from 20 January to 13 February 2017

Normal registration from 14 February to 10 March 2017

Late registration – 11 March to 2 April, 2017

Competitions deadline – April 23 , 2017

Winners announced – 14 May 2017


1st Place: € 2,500 + Internship at Kengo Kuma Associates Publication + Exposure

2nd Place: € 1,000 + Publication + Exposure

3rd Place: € 500 + Publication + Exposure

5 honorable mentions: Publication + Exposure

10 finalist: Publication + Exposure

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

For more information go to official website: kairalooro.com/competition

Donwload the notice of competition: kairalooro.com/competition/download/GUIDELINES.rar

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