Kerria, Dakar
CATEGORY: Masterplanning
PROJECT:  Kerria, Dakar
SIZE: 5,400,000m2
PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Our strategy for Kerria is one of density and differentiation; our intention is to deliver dense, high performance environments that appeal to a large swath of innovative companies and individuals, to produce a vibrant, varied series of neighbourhoods. This iteration of the Kerria Masterplan focuses on the further definition of the "Ed's & Med's" corridor, the Metropolitan corridor, and the intersection of the two which form the recommended first phase of the development.

It is imperative that these corridors receive a strong spatial definition from the outset, with clear characteristics that support the people and industries that will populate these neighbourhoods. The new governmental offices and the research hospital anchor the Ed's and Meds axis and define the first set of spatial conditions that will encourage growth as the corridor grows. These two buildings are placed prominently along Boulevard A and reinforces to every arrival at Kerria that the future of this new district is on research and educational components underpinned by strong governmental support. With the influx of medical research institutions and innovative businesses, the hospital and these industries will grow and further populate the corridor moving east, forming a dynamic, knowledge-intensive neighbourhood.

The metropolitan axis has a very different spatial quality than the ed's and med's axis because it needs to support an entirely different type of businesses with their own spatial needs. The metropolitan axis becomes the "urban" element of the design and is bordered by Boulevard B. It is comprised of buildings that are a combination of animated towers with plinths and courtyards that maintain a high density of living and working with a well-defined ground plane.

The spatial makeup of the metropolitan axis is a high concentration of commercial functions integrated with green spaces and amenities. Spatially, this translates to a well-defined ground plane comprised of linked courtyards, animated plinths, and towers that concentrate a great variety of businesses, uses, and dwellings. It is important that while both the Metropolitan and "Ed's & Med's" corridors contain particular characteristics that support certain institutions and industries on the site, they both remain heavily mixed-use with a variety of dwellings, shops, businesses and open spaces for socialising and participating in collective engagement.

One of the major challenges of this development is remedying the intersection of these two axis and their differing spatial characteristics. Through our research on the various aspects of Senegalese culture, we believe a conceptual understanding of the wolof weave, which is found in Senegalese art, textiles and crafts, will help us tie the neighbourhoods together and deliver a scheme with a strong central hierarchy.