The Tena Resort, designed by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, is well, interesting. We’ve all seen the massive undertaking currently being erased in Dubai. You know, that huge palm tree network of islands? These projects are in no quantifiable way similar, but they do share one aspect, and that is a picturesque plan. I often wonder how many of these plan- which are so beautiful and encouraging for architects and clients- continue to be  beautiful and encouraging for those who walk them. Is any of the concurrence and beauty translated for those who are down within the plan, walking the streets, living in the planned buildings? I really just can’t say, but I think if there is any, it is never as good as the beauty of the plan- and perhaps a less beautiful plan would create a more beautiful reality.

Courtesy of Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

Well, the Tena Resort, brought on the above statement because of its leaf/branch, diagrammatic plan. 200 villas with corresponding facilities locate along the avenues and waterways, which link-up and self-divide until finally reaching a mixed-use tower at the focal intersection. Located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso- the resort stands as an oasis of green within the landscape. Of this mind, the mixed-use tower rises above the landscape, a beacon of sorts with a green facade which stands in front of the interior program, providing shading and evaporative cooling.”]

Courtesy of Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

There are many green aspects to this project. However, one glaring question crops up from observation of rendered representations of the resort. It seems to be situated within a desert of sorts. In this context, how sustainable is it to have to water all these plants? If there’s a spring or oasis nearby- no problem. If not- it is an example of wanting being better than having.

Courtesy of Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

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