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Hollmen Reuter Sandman Architects / Finland WOMEN’S CENTRE, RUFISQUE, SENEGAL, 2001 The widespread African system where women organize themselves in groups with the number of members ranging from tens to hundreds, is also found in Senegal. The idea and the spatial programme of the centre were born in cooperation with local women’s groups. An active, strong women’s group attempts to make the everyday life of its members easier amidst poverty, and to guarantee them a reasonable degree of ‘social security’. In accordance with West African custom, the building surrounds an internal courtyard; the line between private and public is clear but flexible. The simplicity of the street facades adapts the building to its surroundings; the corner facing a road-crossing forms a small public square where the facilities reserved for commerce are located. MAKING SPACE FOR WOMEN 207


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