Editors’ Choice
2023 Skyscraper Competition

Kael Samake, Saijeeni Elangko, Faye Bonifacio

The Sahel is a geographic region that runs across the African continent. It is the border between the Sahara Desert to the north and the tropics to the south.
The indigenous baobab tree is the heart of African tradition and folklore. Referred to as the Teydouma in a local dialect for its femininity, the tree provides protection and education to the local communities and has become a symbol of life for the people who live among it.
The Teydouma tower draws inspiration from the baobab and intends to provide food and water, shelter, a place for the community to gather, and educational opportunities for the Sahelian communities.

Climate change, food insecurity, and a primarily young population are all challenges that Sahelians struggle with in their daily lives. The region has experienced the temperature rising 1.5 times faster compared to the global average. Heat waves, floods, and droughts have all become more severe and the region has not been prepared to adapt to these changes.

Teydouma will utilize various sustainable practices within its design to provide for the tower’s residents and the existing community infrastructure.
In the local vernacular, earth, mud, and clay are used to express and reflect the region’s forms and culture. By using 3D printing technology, Teydouma will be able to merge the traditional materials of the region and create a building typology that is responsive to the tower’s context while providing for the community’s growing needs. The integration of this technology in manufacturing the various elements in the tower will allow for a more efficient, sustainable, and inclusive future. This technology will allow the community to learn and adapt and grow their towers with various pods as the community’s needs grow. The structural core, pods, and framing components of the tower take their form from the trunk, bark, and canopies of the baobab.
There is a large capacity for solar energy in this region and this will be incorporated into the cladding system of the main social areas of the community market, urban farming, and learning huts.

Water collection is facilitated through the various canopies throughout the tower and funnel through the internal core and into the water tank below grade. The tank will also be connected to the aquifers below the region which can be used to help future needs. To supplement the grey water collected, the tower will filter wastewater and fertilize the urban farming and cool the building.
In the Sahel, 34 million people have undergone a food crisis in 2022 and there is importance in addressing food insecurity at various levels. Teydouma has incorporated farming spaces to go along with the residential units since the inhabitants’ primary source of income comes from agriculture. This purposeful environment will go a long way in developing a more independent lifestyle for the residents. The larger farming hut will be a learning space and supplement growth within the residents and the community.

The residential pods are designed to have the outward-facing façade to be at different angles. The variation in angles mimics the organic context and allows for floor planning to accommodate various family sizes. The residential units can accommodate multigenerational living as well as smaller family units.
With 64.5% of the population being under the age of 25, there is an intentional focus on community spaces within the towers that provide for opportunities for education of the younger demographic. The learning hut will facilitate spaces to learn from the community elders. Educators will draw from the technologies used in the design of the tower and communicate those learnings to the students.

Comments are closed.