This project explores the tensions triggered by tourism in Salvador, Bahia through the occupation of the cultural and religious symbols of Afro-Brazilian communities. By confronting the representations that appropriate sacred spaces of Candomble, the project aims to reclaim and re-establish subjectivity through the introduction of spaces of expression that celebrate Afro-Brazilian identities.
To unpack these tensions, the project focuses on the Dique do Tororó, a lake historically sacred within the religion of Candomble. This sacredness arises from the reverence of natural elements in Candomble, since the Dique do Tororó is the only natural spring in Salvador, Bahia. In 1998, the site went through a revitalization project featuring an installation of eight Orixa statues by the artist Tati Moreno representing the deities of Candomble, weighing 2 tons each and are more than 22 feet tall. However, this “revitalization” of the lake became an isolator from the surrounding neighborhoods since the development of Vasco de Gama Avenue limited accessibility to the lake with the heavy traffic it brought in. The lake and the newly installed statues, then, become unattainable to the those living in the neighborhoods, destabilizing the historic and sacred ties.
The project tackles these issues by allowing architecture to become a connector of broken ties, in an attempt to reclaim a site that represents cultural and religious freedom to Afro-Brazilians. Neighborhood corridors are extended to bridge this gap and slow the flow of vehicles surrounding the site. A new cultural center that celebrates the practice of Afro-Brazilian music, dance and capoeira is established on the east bank of the Dique do Tororo, where the visibility of Afro-Brazilianness confronts the Orixa statues. In this context, the architectural representation of Afro-Brazilians re-establishes their place within the urban fabric, creating a sense of belonging that challenges hollow tourist-oriented infrastructures.
Resistance at the Dique do Tororo
Resistance at the Dique do Tororo is a project developed by Mai Abusalih as a part of GSAPP's advanced design studio, Orfeu instructed by Mario Gooden.
Dismantle | Reassemble
GSAPP Advanced Studio
Instructor: Andres Jaque
Partner: Ranitri Weerasuriya
Playa Blanca, Lanzarote has been the arena for the conflict between mass tourism and the trend of uncontrolled growth in opposition with the environmental awareness of the impact of tourism originally sparked by artist Cesar Manrique.
This conflict has evolved into a clash between the Lanzarote Government and Municipality of Yaiza following the issuing of the 1991 Insular Territorial Planning Plan and the 2000 Tourist Moratorium. In today’s Playa Blanca, the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands annulled 15 hotel licenses in addition to Marina Rubicon’s license.
The situation in the coastal strip of the site reveals conflicting overlapping realities where the remnants of Playa Blanca’s history as a fishing village act as hotspots of confrontation to the mass tourism. The erasure of history through pushing out resident families for over a century results in a monolith society of transient tourism empty of everyday life.
The project takes into consideration these varying conflicts and aims to create an ecosystem of collaboration built on the existing touristic infrastructure in Playa Blanca. Through the introduction of a mixed society, the site is able to be revived and oriented towards reef building and a local fishing economy. The current transient tourism nature is tranformed into an integrated engagement with Playa Blanca creating a positive impact to tourism on the local environment.
#RIP: Encoding Memory
GSAPP Advanced Studio
Instructor: Karla Rothstein
Partners: Eric Giragosian, Min He
We believe memory is identity.
How we are remembered defines who we are.
It is a choice to encode our identities, either physically as engravings on a headstone or digitally utilizing social media. Researching various procedures of displacement of the deceased and the living, we mine existing system deficiencies and disruptions within Manhattan.
The current state reveals remembrance and memorialization uprooted from the island, disconnecting the sites where memories were originally created and celebrated. This project bridges the disintegration between where memories were made and where they exist after death.
By grafting onto the subway’s existing nodal network, we will celebrate traces and reverberations, returning memorialization to Manhattan.
The project creates a network of memorial hubs; each of the five boroughs has a central memorial hub where promession takes place along with smaller nodes distributed across New York City subway stations. An essential part of the experience of the city lies within the Subway System. The coupling of the Memorialization Network with the Subway System is a symbol for the close tie between life and death, and allows for remembrance and memorial to become a part of New Yorkers everyday rituals.
The Office building is a three story building, with the concept of two cubes fusing together in order to create a work environment with as much natural light and ventilation as possible.
Working as an architect in CTC Group under the supervision of senior project manager, Fatima Elsanousi and head of design, Ghada Omer I was tasked with redesigning the exterior façade of the building, developing complete shop drawings for the elevations, exterior cladding and curtain walls, and the design the interior of the main reception.
CTC Engineering Master Plan
NOV 2015 – AUG 2016
The CTC Engineering complex is a project with an area of 10,000 sqm composed of five blocks; The showroom, Office, Workshop, Spare Parts, and Washing Bay.
Working as an architect in CTC Group under the supervision of the head of design, Ghada Omer. I was tasked with designing the Landscape and Hardscape of the complex, selecting the materials for the roads in the site according to the location and budget, and the design of the routes of the infrastructure.
CTC Engineering Showroom
Dec 2014 - Aug 2016
The concept of the showroom is to make use of the location, which is at the intersection of one of the busiest streets in Khartoum. This was achieved by creating a glass box that allows for the maximum display for the showroom.
This included redesigning the exterior façade of the building, the complete detailed design of the showroom, interior design, and developing working drawings.
The Soba Showroom is a display unit exhibiting vehicle spare parts. My role included designing the envelope of the unit, the landscape, the interior which envolved creating shelves for the display, designing panels for advertisements, and the design of the sales counter desk.
The drawings developed included a 3D model for renderings and detailed construction documents for the interior and counter desk.
Khartoum International Expo
UofK, Faculty of Architecture
2012 - 2013
Across from Khartoum International Airport, Khartoum International Expo provides an opportunity for creating various exhibitions in a site that links the city of Khartoum to the world. The thesis of the design proposes creating a series of spaces dedicatd each seperate pavilion, following a clear and continuous axis. This strategy creates a contained outdoor space (Square) that is formed by the pavilions surrounding it.
The circulation in these pavilions is liked through bridges and shaded walkways enabling a smooth transition from one pavilion to the next.