The design of the new Dakar Congress Centre, which opened earlier this year, was inspired by the iconic baobab trees endemic to Senegal. The baobab is a significant cultural marker, as traditionally policy decisions were made under these trees. The new West African conference centre has already earned an award in the business category of The Plan awards programme at international architecture forum Perspective Europe 2015 for Turkish firm Tabanlıoglu Architects. The construction area is 16 270m2, with the majestic baobab trees – which can live for up to a thousand years – visible from within the building. Two other standout features are the surrounding reflection pool and semi-transparent metal mesh-like envelope that together make the building appear to float.