Sitou Akolly


Sitou’s Step Forward

Sitou’s thesis “Post-colonial identity: A step forward” gives interpretation to the vernacular symbolism and gives credence to the functionality of traditional African architecture (the Battambalia hut).“The Sitsope – Trade school /orphanage”, the design prototype, is a visual celebration of what is possible with African Vernacular and materials in architecture.


Sitou’s thesis titled “post-colonial identity: A step forward” began with a very clear intent to (produce architecture that situates the vernacular and cultural symbolism of Africawithin the constraints of modernism. The thesis is broken down into 5 chapters. In the first chapter, we are walked through the philosophical underpinnings of the Thesis. In the second chapter, we are walked through the composite elements that inform the design from the site to the Program to spatial elements. In the third chapter, the architect leads us through the actual design, section and how the different elements integrate to the design. The fourth chapter is a purely graphic representation of the integration process and the last chapter closes with the architect’s reflections on the process. The end product is a guided tour of all the elements of the design of the Sitsopewoven into a beautifully knit graphic narrative. sistou-akolly2 Sitou gives us his interpretation of the African vernacular by detailed decompositionand analysis of the building practices/culture of the Battambalia hut of the Togolese. In his effortSitou draws a distinction between the Togolese and the western. According to Sitou, the Battambalia is built with the community and context in mind while western architecture emphasizes individuality and mass production. Sitou believes that architecture should reflect the material culture of a people and her social needs. In his work, he forms a marriage between the textiles of various African cultures and their architecture. This marriage forms the bedrock for the final prototype the Sitsope.The Sitsopeis (designed to be) a trade school/orphanage located in an area along the Togolese coastline that is characterized by poverty & child labor. The design is inspired by the Banbura necklace of the Samburu tribe in Togo. With the Sistope, Sitoureflects the material culture of the Togolese in creating a solution to their social needs.
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