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Maison des Esclaves

This proposal was developed as a small visitor centre for the Maison des Esclaves in Agbodrafo in Togo, West Africa. After the British abolition of slavery in 1807 an illicit trade continued. The Wood House, was built in 1835 by the Scottish slave trader, John Henry Wood who connived with local kings and tribal leaders in the highly lucrative trade. Hundreds of slaves were kept in the 1.5m high cellar beneath the 200m2 house for weeks, even months, before being transferred to slave ships and sent across the Atlantic.

Located adjacent to the Maison des Esclaves compound, the project includes a memorial, learning centre, craft workshops and exhibition space. The memorial consists of an open courtyard that matches the size and format of the Wood House, but is symbolically open to the sky. A top-lit exhibition hall is adjacent to memorial and is the start of a sequential trip through the site, culminating in the Maison des Esclaves itself. The project is constructed from rough in-situ concrete using washed beach sand, shells and pebbles.

Project Details

Private Commission
Agbodrafo, Togo
Giuseppe Tonelli, Edward Kilkenny-Brown
Kin Creatives