Aimed for sustainability as well as innovation and a construction argued to offer many job opportunities in the city, The Tena Tower- Tena Lakes is an ambitious urban complex project with a mixed use tower, 200 villas and facilities set to be located in the wealthy district of Ouaga 2000 in the southern part of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Designed in the context of a landlocked country with few economic opportunities for its citizens, due to its limited natural resources and also arguably due to its liberalization policies for which its government is particularly renowned, the Tena Tower is meant to be an entirely energy self-sufficient oasis to draw in foreign and domestic investors.
According to its design, by Paris based architect, Manuelle Gautrand, it would occupy 640,000 square meters within a master plan which would include a lake of 180,000 square meters, 80 villas, a park system, a number of mixed used facilities to be built around the new lake and a 96ft. mixed use tower as the focus of the design. The tower complex comprises of a hotel, 50 apartments, offices, and restaurants. The facade design incorporates a lace-like skeleton made of intertwined metallic panels that shield the building from excessive heating, while allowing for natural lighting through expansive views of the surrounding green landscape. Between the external lace and the facade are periodic terraces that provide solar shading and increased views for the interior spaces. At the bottom of the tower, the shape of the second envelop enlarges itself by becoming a horizontal oval, protecting the different lobbies and facilities.
The outdoor spaces of the villas are emphasized as much as possible: a second envelop also protects all the facades, and creates a lot of terraces, screens and shelters. Each villa has its own swimming pool.
As the winner of a 2010 design competition for the site by real estate investment company Real Tacama FZE, various concepts and visual effects borrowing mainly from nature have been incorporated to generate the overall design. The pattern of the lake and groves are inspired by the plumage of a peacock, a respected bird in this part of the world, possibly to represent the beautiful, rich and diverse culture and the strong sense of national pride of a rather poor Burkina Faso. Surrounding the lake in an emulating pattern are 14 massive groves of photovoltaic cells to power the villas and facilities, parks, recreation areas and promenades weaving in and throughout the villa complexes. Each oval is the occasion of a program element, emphasized by a strong density of trees and a vast roof created with photovoltaic cells. The tower takes its place at the extremity of the radiant shape, prolonging the project with a final vertical landmark.
A gentle slope allows a small brook during the rainy season and using the ground water to emphasize the brook, a permanent lake will be created. In an attempt to place the human being in the center of the preoccupations, to anticipate an exemplary way of life deeply connected to the country, and to be innovative in the way of creating a sustainable place, the goal is to be energy-self sufficient; the creation of a lake, modification of the micro-climate from hot-arid to a cool livable environment, minimalised use of water, the power of the photovoltaic cells and maximized solar shading for the buildings.
Characterised by vibrant colors extending the natural colors of soils, trees and animals to project the concept of a peacock’s plumage; a multicolored metallic screen shielding the building and trying to give a green atmosphere to the interiors; a green landscape comprising of succulent plants, trees, foliages and a newly created lake, the design is a fresh idea- standing tall and depicting hope and rebirth. Although the realization of the full construction is questionable, Tena Tower, arguably offers much hope for the future among Burkinabés.