The Lambaye Learning Center

The first full rending of The Lambaye Learning Center, designed by BKSK Architects and the people of Lambaye. 

Design

Acclaimed New York City Architecture Firm, BKSK Architects, have come up with an incredible design for the learning center that is innovative, effective and sustainable.

You can see the full rendering by watching this video.

We have secured a location, completed topographical analysis and finalized engineering plans.  Construction begins as soon as the necessary funds have been raised.  

The Plan

In order to achieve our goals of expanding education opportunity in Senegal, we plan to build a Learning Center where the community of Lambaye will have access to a library, reading room, computers with internet access, flexible skill training spaces for women and men, a dedicated women's center and a special place for the pre-school and elementary school students to establish foundations in learning.

We first concentrated on understanding the true needs of the people of Lambaye. We accomplished this by getting to know the villagers on a personal level. Amary has taken 2 groups of students (more than 30 in all) to visit his home village over the last 4 years. In addition, we connected with New York City based BKSK Architects and their lead architect on the project, Jennifer Preston, has now accompanied Amary to Senegal twice.

Recently Dakar based DMT Architecture has joined our cause and we have just completed our last round of community feedback workshops with village leaders, educators, and students to make the final adjustments to the design for the Learning Center. We have secured the site where the Learning Center will be built and all the preliminary work on the project, including topographical surveys and soil analysis, has been completed.

Project Description

 A Stage for performances will make the LLC a cultural focal point of the village and ensure diverse and constant use.

A Stage for performances will make the LLC a cultural focal point of the village and ensure diverse and constant use.

The 4,000 square foot project will include a community library and learning center. It will embrace the activities of the village and support community efforts through comfortable, well lit spaces that offer further exploration of cooking, agricultural processing, computer use and programming.

Other Aspects Include:

  • A light-filled two story reading room, which opens up onto a central courtyard
  • A stage for performances
  • A young children center 
  • A women's Center
  • A workshop for processing agricultural grain and fabric sewing 
  • A multi-purpose space for lectures, cooking classes, town meetings, weddings
  • A computer lab with 20 computers
  • A shop to sell the wares of the Learning Center

Planning for Longevity

The design that BKSK has come up with is incredibly environmentally friendly, and it also includes elements that ensure that the building will be impactful and sustainable.  It utilizes natural cooling process, solar power, water reclamation technologies and locally sourced materials.

We have included the following:

  • A budget for beginning a maintenance fund and worker salary
  • Water collection points for plantings and flushing
  • Photovoltaic panels to power lights, fans, computers, and sewing machines 
  • Spaces that are flexible so that as the village grows, so too can the Center
  • The building will be able to generate its own modest revenue by renting out the space for weddings, a small fee to charge cell phones, and a low adult member fee 
  • We also currently offer scholarships to select students in Lambaye so that they can afford the cost of education

Impact

1. Expansion of Literacy

The literacy rate in Senegal for girls is only half of what it is for boys. The Learning Center will give everyone in the village the tools they need to succeed.

2. Financial Independence for Women 

The Learning Center will allow villagers to obtain useful applied skills that will benefit the entire village, with a particular focus on the women and young girls in the village. 

3. Preservation of Culture

Senegalese books will be available in every space to encourage reading and reenforce cultural values and a shared history.

4. Skills Enhancement

There will also be programs available for the villagers to make their own books and to continue the process of learning through teaching. Students for Senegal will support local programming efforts so that the building is full of activity.