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SUNU CICES

Architecture 

Sprawling over 19.5 hectares and boasting a series of triangular buildings with exquisite detailing, the International fair grounds of Dakar, known as the CICES (Centre International du Commerce Extérieur du Sénégal), counts among the most iconic 20th century architectural heritage on the African continent. Designed by two French architects, Jean-François Lamoureux and Jean-Louis Marin in 1974, the CICES was commissioned by the first president of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor, a poet-politician who sought a novel, universal African architectural language, shed from Western referents. As a result, the CICES complex uses Modernist principles in its circulation and layout, and simultaneously embraces Senghor’s ‘asymmetric parallelism’ theory, that he defines as "a diversified repetition of rhythm in time and space", best represented by the triangular form shared by all of the buildings—which offer a multitude of spatial experiences. As such, the CICES is a unique example of post-independence African Modernism, which aimed to craft new national identities.

In 2020, Aziza Chaouni Projects alongside Senegalese architect Mourtada Gueye received a Keeping it Modern Grant from the Getty Conservation Institute to develop a Conservation Management Plan, a document that represents best practices in the heritage conservation field. It works to help a variety of stakeholders manage future changes to a heritage site by establishing a common framework for why it is significant. As part of this process, the team launched SUNU CICES, (“our CICES” in Wolof), a campaign to build public support and dialogue around the conservation and future of the site. 

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