Architecture & Design News Africa

2020 competition to design emergency operations centre in Africa launched

The Balouo Salo non-profit organisation has launched the 2020 edition of the Kaira Looro Competition which aims to design an emergency operations centre for the resolution of humanitarian emergencies in Africa. The international competition aims to raise awareness among the international community of architecture of emergencies in developing countries.
First prize winner for Peace Pavilion 2019: Changze Cai from China
First prize winner for Peace Pavilion 2019: Changze Cai from China

Early registrations are open and will continue until 15 February. Participants are expected to register by latest 31 March.


Emergencies strike suddenly and without warning. They level cities to the ground and tear down buildings as though they were made of sand. In almost no time at all everything is destroyed and all that remains is the realisation that you have to get up and start all over again from scratch.

In recent years the occurrence of deluges and flooding have increased dramatically. Analogously, conflicts and financial crises persist and lead to the development of serious humanitarian emergencies which put the lives of millions of people at risk.

Resolving an emergency of any kind means re-establishing peace and security. The crisis must be dealt with in a timely and coordinated manner that includes reception, sensibility, and awareness. What the competion is looking for, therefore, is the design of a structure that will house an EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and that can help to facilitate the humanitarian operations of international organisations, allowing them to act with the utmost efficiency. The EOC structure is intended to be a model which supports the countless humanitarian initiatives that international organisations implement in an effort to create a better world.

The object of the 2020 Kaira Looro Competition is to design an operational centre for the management of humanitarian emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The structure is intended to house and facilitate all of the most important initiatives which international organisations and local authorities must implement in order to deal with emergencies and provide aid to affected communities.

The spaces must be versatile and multifunctional, capable of adapting to specific needs and to the type and context of the emergency. The structure must be designed as a temporary or semi-permanent structure, eventually capable of being dismantled and reassembled if need be, in order to manage the logistics of the emergency as well as possible, whether on a small or large scale.

Participation is opened to architects, designers, engineers and students from around the world. It’s possible to participate in a team or individually, with at least the presence of one member under 35 in the team.


The proposals will be evaluated by a international jury made up by: Kengo Kuma (Kengo Kuma & Associates), Agostino Ghirardelli (SBGA), Lígia Nunes (Architecture Sans Frontières International), Mphethi Morojele (MMA Design Studio), Walter Baricchi (CNAPPC), Philippa Nyakato Tumubweinee (University of Cape Town), and Mantey Jectey-Nyarko (Kwame Nkrumah University).


The winning project will receive a cash prize (€5000) and an internship at Kengo Kuma & Associates in Tokyo, Japan. The second and third team will receive, respectively, a cash prize and an internship at the SBGA in Milan, Italy, and Mopheti Morojele Design in Johannesburg, South Africa. All the awarded projects will also be published in the official book.

The competition is organised also to support the humanitarian activities of the Balouo Salo non-profit organisation, to which all the proceeds will be donated.

For more information, go to

Article originally published on World Architecture Community.

Source: World Architecture Community

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