In my opinion the Theatre Populaire Desiré Bonogo should be a place, where everybody is warmly welcomed, and every citizen of the city could benefit of the renewed area of the amphitheatre. The main goal of the restoration project is to present a clear and sustainable idea of a people´s centre of culture and art, respect to the local realities and take into account the problems of the country, the city and the people. This new cultural center should serve a wide variety of artistic and design disciplines, to educate, learn, enjoy and spread the colorful and really exciting culture of the people of Burkina Faso.
I think an architect should start every project dating with the people and culture of even the most distant countries, spending days and nights with them, getting to know them better. Right in the start I have been reading articles about Burkina Faso and looking at the map of the country for days, trying to understand their culture and life. I started with Ouagodouno. The capital is a widespread city with a huge population density, very low average building height and with very rare green areas sparsely around water surfaces. Analysing the streets of Ouaga I recognised some of the most interesting places on the map are around the great roundabouts, but inside them nothing ever happens! But I know even before I started, if I want to capture the real essence of the people, I have to leave the city and try to find people not only knowing, but living this culture and habits every day and night! If we look further over to the countryside we will see small and convergent community
villages, sticking together, where everything, what is important and interesting happens inside, in the middle of the circle, protected by the walls of their own houses. The structure of these small villages shows the importance of small converging communities - something I want to highlight in my project too.
First of all, I have studied the climate of the country, because this is the most important thing in the African countries. Burkina Faso is characterized by tropical summer-humid climate under the influences of a trade wind driven dry season from October to April and an Intertropical Convergence Zone driven rainy season from May to September. Whereas green vegetation largely disappears in the dry season, phenological peaks occur during the rainy season. The wind directions are mainly North - North-Eastern and South - South-Western.
I know if I want to create a comfortable interior climate inside the buildings I have to use natural ventilation. That´s why I opened a lot of windows in the walls of the buildings in the direction of the winds.
The second very important thing are the shadows, so I covered the walls of the building with uprised roofs and roofs by the side of the buildings. These roofs blocking the sunrise to reach the walls or the slab under them.
All the new building are designed to be built from clay walls. Clay is a natural and strong material and it is easy to find in the country, it is cheaper than the other materials. Mixing it with a little bit of cement is has really good qualities under pressure.
In my plans I would leave all the existing buildings to be used in the future, they only have to be renewed or upgrade them. E.g. the grand studio only need to open the windows a little bit more and a new roof, the same style as my new building next to it. Under the uprised building there could be a wavering wooden slab to improve the acoustical qualities of the room.
I don´t know if the site is capable of having a pond or a small body of water, that´s why I did not count with it in my project, but it would be awesome to have something like it in the center of the site.