Nouvelle cité à Fria
Sabendé, Guinea

In the master planning of the new town for 20,000 future employees of the bauxite extraction factory, Michel Écochard followed the modernist principle of functional zoning which he advocated at the time:  the new town was planned at a distance from the factory, the commercial and cultural functions were grouped and placed centrally between the different housing pockets, and car and pedestrian circulation were clearly divided. Finally, a system of radiating green zones connected the units with each other and linked them to the commercial centre.

The high-rise living blocks foreseen in his plans were contracted to the then-well-known French office of Lagneau, Weill and Dimitrijevic, and the design of the individual housing units was assigned to KPDV. In terms of housing, the zone for villas was foreseen at around 30 inhabitants per hectare, Density for housing in grouped bands at 180 inhabitants per hectare, while the high rises served to increase the average density. This idea of mobilising economic industrialisation to facilitate social modernisation—in this case, through the shaping of both the work and the private home environment—reflected the notion of mise en valeur du territoire, clearly still prevalent in the late colonial period, which linked investment with a direct (financial) output.


de Raedt, Kim. “Shifting conditions, frameworks and approaches: the work of KPDV in postcolonial Africa.” ABE Journal: (4/2013) 1-28. Accessed November 8, 2014: 


Écochard, Michel. "La cité nouvelle de Sabendé (Guinée Française)" France Outremer, 341 n.d., 4 p.

"Guinée: cité de Sabende." L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 80: 1958.

"Guinea, Sabende." Edilizia Moderna, 89-90 n.d., 95

Sabendé, Guinea
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Construction: 1958
Variant Names
New City at Fria
Building Usages
urban design and development