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The Dakar Arena which is located in Senegal is a multipurpose sports hall with a 15.000 visitors capacity. The total closed area is 35.000 sqm. The venue offers a relationship with the city by implementing an urban plaza as a meeting point and an event space for inhabitants.

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The rich and colorful local culture is the main inspiration of the design of the Arena. Many prominent aspects of African culture, including fashion, handicraft, work of art and traditional local dwellings with their unique motifs, patterns, use of colors give the main identity to the building. All these aspects are combined and reflected in the materiality of the architecture of the building.

dakar arena interior

Variety of locally inspired colors and patterns standout in the facade. The selected colors derive from the flag of Senegal and they follow a rhythm while functioning as sunshades. While the colors are irregularly placed horizontally, their sizes decrease vertically towards the roof. This organization brings dynamism to the facade. With the elliptical shape of the building and the perpendicular placement of these elements, the facade gives different levels of transparency from different angles. The particular shape of the sunshades is inspired from the local leafs. These sunshades are used in order to create stratification in the plan. They mark the border between the exterior podium and internal circulation of the spectators. 

Facade System Section

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On the other hand, foyer back wall is characterized by a white clean surface. Reflections of the colorful leaves on the facade shine upon the white walls of the main circulation space, giving color to the space and signaling the motion of the sun throughout the day. The color works as a catalyst, enhancing the integrity of the volume and building the overall idea. The visual movement of the facade turns color into a performance element.

The tribunes are designed via the development of parabolic sections in order to present an equal angle of vision for each audience member. Although the building is designed mainly for sports activities, such as basketball, tennis, boxing, etc., it can also host such cultural activities as concerts and congresses; thus it bears the potential of becoming an incubator for urban vibrancy. It meets all the design criteria put forth by FIBA (International Basketball Federation). Trucks can come into the main play ground to maximize the service capability and multipurpose potential of the building. Furthermore, it follows universal design principles so that the disabled, the elderly, and families with children can easily access and circulate throughout the building.

dakar arena landscape


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Location                                                 Dakar, Senegal

Land Area                                               95.110 m²


                                                                                Summa Inc. Co.



Opening Date                                         8 August 2018


Total Construction Area                                  32.800 m²


Architectural Project                                Yazgan Design Architecture

Interior Design                                        Yazgan Design Architecture

Structural Project                                    Meinhardt Turkey, Uzay Construction Systems

Mechanical Project                                   Metta Engineering

Electrical Project                                     EMT Engineering

Infrastructure Project                              OED Engineering

Landscape Design Project                        Yazgan Design Architecture


Acoustical Design Consultant                   Ses Görüntü Production Systems

Fire Consultant                                       Alara Project

Lighting Design Consultant                      On Off Lighting Design & Consultancy


                                                             Emre Dörter, 2018


                                                             2018, The Plan Award - 'Sport & Leisure' Category - Shortlisted

                                                             2019, LEAF Awards - 'Best Public Building Project' category- Finalist

                                                             2020, Vanceva World of Color Awards 2020 - Finalist

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