Excerpt: Bibliothèque Diallo Sita, designed by Hypothesis Atelier, is a sustainable community library developed in collaboration with the Ivorian association JADE. This project was a must in order to provide the necessary educational support and also to combat illiteracy in the region. Nicknamed the “Blue Building” by locals, the careful attention to architecture brings dignity to learning.
[Text as submitted by architect] Hypothesis Association is proud to publicly announce the establishment of a sustainable community library in Côte d’Ivoire realized in collaboration with the Ivorian association JADE. On the initiative of three young architects freshly graduates of ETHZ, AAM and HEIA, Hypothesis Association – nonprofit association – collaborated with the local association JADE, mainly composed of Ivorian teachers in order to build a library open to the public. An autonomous building around a strong architecture and steeped in local tradition.
Located in Tengrela, in the north of Côte d’Ivoire, the Sita Diallo library, will host each week many young people and will offer them the possibility to have free access to culture. The only library in the city, this project was a must in order to provide the necessary educational support and also to combat illiteracy in the region.
Nicknamed the “Blue Building” by locals, the careful attention to architecture brings dignity to learning. In front of the building, a large square introduces the notion of built public space. Inside, a passive ventilation system is combined with the structure of the building, sometimes serving as a wall, sometimes as shelves. Extensively planted outdoor spaces will fully contribute to the quality of reception for children. A modest house, rented to a teacher from the region, covers the running costs of the library.
Although the development and fundraising have begun in 2019, the construction of the library started in the summer of 2021. Despite remote monitoring by Swiss architects imposed by the pandemic, the extended rainy season, and the difficulty of supplying materials, the building was inaugurated on January 15th.
The 6-month trial period is now over with a success exceeding expectation with nearly 300 subscribers, more than 200 people present during the inauguration, a theater group, numerous workshops occasional events such as International Women’s Day bringing together more than 50 people and hundreds of young people enrolled in the various excellence competitions organized by the library administration.
A modest budget of CHF 41,000 was mobilized for the construction of this major project, which includes a library of 100 m2 and a detached house whose rent will be used to finance the operation of the library. A small budget made possible by a countless hour of Swiss volunteering and Ivorians, as well as by the generous support of foundations, Geneva communities and individuals. We would like to thank and greet the seriousness and the inexhaustible investment of our local partners, who have worked tirelessly to resolve these many contingencies.