In rural Niger, markets run on a weekly basis, allowing sellers to move from village to village all week long to offer their products. With a rapidly increasing population, the village Dandaji felt a need for a more permanent market for its own inhabitants to both procure and sell goods in a more consistant way. The current weekly market is organized around an ancestral tree that has become the public space to be during Market Day for market-goers and sellers.
The new project stays on the same site and amplifies an experience the village inhabitants have come to count on. We sought to create an infrastructure that would be very visually appealing, that the villagers would be proud of, and that would consequently attract more commerce to the area. Ultimately, a main goal of the project is to create a space that projects a sense of confidence and aspirations for the future in the users themselves by way of a dramatic upgrade from the market’s initial wood and straw structures.
The design of the project is kept very simple, using a colorful metal canopy produced by a succession of individual shading structures. It provides solar and thermal protection to the vending spaces underneath. The result is a whimsical world that complements the colorful goods on display, while protecting patrons from the scorching sun. The market is laid out to progressively step down to the old tree, the surroundings of which are formalized to become a real public space with seating and rest spaces for all to gather around.
Walking along the shaded lanes, one experiences the simplicity of the compressed-earth brick stalls that contribute to the cooling of the space, while the alternating heights of the shading structures help the air flow throughout.
Status: Completed 2018
Location: Dandaji, Niger.
Site: 7530 m²
Lead Architect: Mariam Kamara
Design Team: Mariam Kamara, Harouna Diallo