choice of a hypogean museum that is not blocked from future development
but is flexible in growth, and that of a linking of volumes that more similar
to a village than to a single representative building, are motivated by
the evocative character (the forced transfer of African blacks by ship)
associated with the Memorial's themes.
The Museum appears as a garden on several levels, and its design reflects the underlying planimetric layout; on its surface, breaches appear that are sources of natural light for the rooms beneath ground-level.
The profile of the dome over the central hall comprises a point of reference for the surrounding area, and will be visible from Dakar along the axis of the Rue des Dardanelles, and from the ocean.
An important aspect of the 'use' of the project lies in the route approaching the Memorial from the north. This is a 'purifying' itinerary that starts from Avenue Malik Sy at a point that is scenically located on the ocean between two large stone screens, and continues initially between two rows of trees that protect it from the heat, before being interrupted by an existing garden that provides further opportunity for a pause and emotional preparation for the passage between the city and the location of the memorial.
the route moves suddenly on to the rocky coast for a more direct relationship
with the sea and in order to approach the Memorial site from a more scenic
Through the sectioning and the type of lighting of the spaces, the internal rules of the project clarify the distinction between those areas that are accessible to the public and the private ones intended for research and the archives.
The differently-shaped exhibition spaces are immediately noticeable from the central atrium that is 50 m. high under the main dome, and are double height, illuminated with natural light from the breaches in the roof enabling daylight to enter and spread.
The spaces that are closed to the public in the eye-shaped block at a height of 12 m., are instead illuminated throughout the day in a natural manner via bands of continuous windows.