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A months-long search for some of the best town planners in Africa has ended with the announcement of the winners of the second edition of the Archigineer Africa International Competition.
The challenge of the second edition of the competition was simple; pick a market within an urban area and draw up a plan that could effectively rehabilitate the market. The competition was open to students or young professionals in the fields of town planning, architecture, and civil engineering. Entry was free and one could participate individually or as part of a team with a maximum membership of 4.
There were more than 1000 submissions by students from 80 schools across 30 countries from October 2013 to Jan 2014. A multidisciplinary jury that included sociologists, historians, engineers and town planners deliberated on the submissions on February 25th.
In the end a total of 9 submissions were picked; 3 for the monetary prizes, 3 as special mentions from the jury, and the last three that were still outstanding enough to be included in the international exhibit.
The first prize went to Yohannes Aknaw and Tilahun Dagmawi, both students at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. The market they chose to redesign was the Atkilt Tera Market, the largest vegetables and fruits market in Addis Ababa. More than 50 years old, the market is rather decrepit; previous plans involving the market have revolved around doing away with the market and setting up storied buildings. The plan by the duo would see the market have greater space between stalls to ease pedestrian traffic, and the whole market would receive a massive facelift. The redesign would also improve ventilation and lighting. The monetary prize for clinching the top spot was €1,500.
The second prize went to Amaur and Michaël, two Senegalese who submitted a plan for the Sandaga Bou Market. The French in a neo-sudan style built the market in 1933, and it has not been attended to as it should. In 2013, the market was closed down in order to conduct some repairs in order to “preserve the safety of persons and property.” The 3-story building receives thousands of visitors daily, and is located on an island formed within crossroads in Dakar. Still in a largely dilapidated state, the plan was to revamp the market into a user-friendlier complex, one where people are assured of hygienic standards due to a greater sense of order than currently exists. The two walked away with a €1000 reward.
The third prize went to Amari Houda and Saad Derouich of Morocco, who sought to revamp the Berber market at Kalaat M’gouna. The plan would make the make the market a pocket of greenery in town, with lush trees and woodworks adjacent to shops. The two went with a prize of €750.
The top 9 submissions will be included in an international exhibition and an upcoming book.
By Matengo Chwanya