Born in 2016, the nonprofit initiative Kaira Looro is organized by Balouo Salo, charitable organization established with the objective of finding a solution to humanitarian and environmental emergencies through the development and donation of projects capable of improving the quality of life of needy communities in developing countries.
We are happy to announce the media-partnership between the event and THE PLAN Journal, which since 2016 intends to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking and relevant research, studies and criticism in architecture and urbanism.
The results are in! The competition boasts an international jury that has declared the winners of this year’s edition – with a total of 30 projects – and that is composed of Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates), Benedetta Tagliabue (Miralles Tagliabue EMBT), Urko Sanchez (Urko Sanchez Architects), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA), Oulimata Sarr (Regional Director of UN Women West and Central Africa), Salimata Diop Dieng (Minister of Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection of Senegal), Lehau Victoria Maloka (Director of Women Gender and Development Directorate of African Union Commission), Azzurra Muzzonigro (Sex and the City) and the scientific committee of Balouo Salo / Kaira Looro.
The winner of the 2021 edition is Juan Pablo Lopez Isabella from Uruguay, who will receive a cash prize of € 5,000 and an internship at the Kengo Kuma & Associates architectural firm in Tokyo, Japan. His project will be built by Balouo Salo with money raised from enrolment fees to promote equality and combat discrimination and violence, encouraging emancipation of the female community in a rural context in Sub-Saharan Africa, as per the competition’s objective, and it will be inserted within a broader humanitarian project that includes training, awareness-raising activities, and community organization in order to promote topics related to equal opportunity policies and the fight against discrimination.
The second prize was won by a team from Portugal, VIDNSOGAL1234, while the third place’s team, ARAHINALY3005, comes from Italy. Two honorable mentions were also nominated - one selected by Kengo Kuma and the other by the Balouo Salo Organization - whose teams come respectively from Vietnam and Poland. Five special mentions were awarded to team projects from Canada, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Brazil and Greece. The other 20 finalist projects were teams from Romania, Latvia, China, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, Guinea, Brazil, Hong Kong, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Lebanon.
The winning projects can be viewed on the competition’s official website.
The objective of the competition is the creation of a “Women’s House” within a symbolic and environmentally friendly structure that is inspired by local traditions, in this case those of Baghere village in Senegal, where it will be built. A space in which associations and members of society will be able to host meetings, seminars, labs, and any other activity that could be useful in reducing forms of discrimination, strengthening and promoting gender equality, creating awareness and knowledge, and stimulating involvement by all parts of society. The “Women’s House” will have to:
- be easily built with sustainable technologies that can be adapted for self-construction and which do not require the use of heavy vehicles or complex machinery;
- make use of natural and/or recycled materials available in the area so as to limit the environmental and economic impact caused by transport of materials and to generate revenue within the local context;
- be integrated with the socio-cultural context of the area by reinterpreting and respecting its traditions.
The choice of materials and technologies must be consistent with the principles of sustainability and self-construction, in that the project will be built by volunteers as part of a humanitarian initiative alongside associations and the benefiting communities.