The Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury praised the work of architects Wonjoon Han and Gahee Van of VHAN, and executive director Suki Yook of NGO Make Africa Better, South Korea. They considered the shea butter storage concept for the Nyingali community to be sophisticated and community focused. The prize was presented during the closing session of the 6th LafargeHolcim Forum by Brinda Somaya, Principal Architect and Managing Director, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, India and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation in April 2019.
For the first time in the history of the LafargeHolcim Awards, the global jury selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition in 2017 to receive LafargeHolcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena.
The striking storage tower for the Nyingali community is designed to induce a chimney effect to keep shea nuts cool and fresh before processing. By storing the nuts and processing them incrementally, the community will be able to sell processed shea butter for skin moisturizing when it commands a higher price in the market cycle.
The base of the tower is a storage space with a double layer masonry construction designed to keep the interior cool. Its ceiling is made of glass foam, which is designed to act as a heat exchanger when damp. The volume above is cross-ventilated and draws hot air upwards. This project, which also includes a range of training programs, is part of a long-term engagement by the NGO Make Africa Better to improve the production of shea butter in the village. The facilities are built in cooperation with volunteers from the village and the resulting structures are owned locally.