Dame House is located in Nord-Foire Yoff,
a newly developed residential area of Dakar, the
capital of Senegal.
Since the colonial era, the development
of the city has been characterised by
an ongoing influx of external influences
which have shown little regard for the
existing context. Rather than importing
a foreign style, the design of Dame House
focuses on the way people live, local
construction methods and managing the
Hospitality plays a significant part
in Senegalese culture. Guests can arrive
at any time and parties for over a hundred
people are common. In addition to its
day-to-day domestic functions, Dame House
has been designed to accommodate these
many and varied social events. The ground
floor is a fluid combination of interior
and exterior spaces which can be used
separately or together, as guest numbers
require. In contrast, the first floor
is a private space, reserved for the family.
Cement blocks, cast and cured on site,
are widely used in Dakar and were employed
extensively in Dame House to control costs
and to allow for easy site manipulation.
Handcrafted perforated aluminum panels
are set into some openings to provide
privacy and maintain natural ventilation.
Voids (internal courtyards, atria) borrowed
from local building types and public spaces
were incorporated into the design to temper
the hot and dry climate while the ambiguous
interior-exterior spaces provide a comfortable
environment particularly hot times.