Koffi & Diabaté Architectes Wins WAFX Prize for International Vodun Museum at World Architecture Festival 2023

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In a triumph of architectural excellence, Koffi & Diabaté Architectes have secured the esteemed WAFX Prize at the World Architecture Festival 2023 for their transformative project, the International Vodun Museum, situated in Porto Novo, Benin. The WAFX Prize is a recognition of visionary projects addressing crucial societal issues, and Koffi & Diabaté Architectes’ win underscores their commitment to innovative and impactful architectural solutions globally.

The International Vodun Museum, designed by partners Guillaume Koffi and Issa Diabaté, emerged victorious in the “Future Culture Project” category at the World Architecture Festival (WAF), where it was presented on November 30 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The WAFX Prize celebrates international projects leveraging design for positive global impact, showcasing Koffi & Diabaté Architectes’ dedication to driving change through architectural ingenuity.

This flagship project, a part of the Benin Government Action Program, aims to reveal and valorize the rich cultural heritage of Benin, with a particular emphasis on the Vodun culture that originated in the 17th century in the former Kingdom of Dahomey. The museum is also a finalist in the “Future Project – Culture” category, further highlighting its potential impact.

The International Vodun Museum represents the government’s commitment to showcase the richness of arts and cultures associated with Vodun, including the annual celebration of Vodun Days every January 10th in the historic city of Ouidah. The museum, located in Porto-Novo, will occupy approximately 16,000 m², featuring a circular and organic architecture rooted in local ancestral traditions, inspired by the Tata Somba of the Somba people in north Bénin.

This architectural marvel, with five major spaces including a reception building, auditorium, temporary exhibition hall, and four permanent exhibition halls, will offer a unique museum experience in West Africa. It stands as a testament to the wealth and influence of Vodun culture, serving as a vital link between the past, present, and future.

The International Vodun Museum’s recognition with the WAFX Prize signifies a significant milestone for Koffi & Diabaté Architectes, showcasing their visionary and transformative approach to architectural design on the global stage. The museum is set to become a cultural landmark, preserving and promoting Benin’s rich heritage for generations to come.

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