Fayçal Traoré, an innovative architect


Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré is blazing a trail in Benin and the sub-region. The founder of Inspired Design explores innovation to create precious architectural wonders.

“Thanks to architecture, I’m at the crossroads of everything”, Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré marvels. A perfect example of an architect, he likes to combine listening and customer satisfaction. This graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture in Rabat is no less proactive. It’s an inspiring vitality. Quite simply. 

From an early age, he was creative and had ambitions to become an airline pilot. Drawing planes and getting to know their parts became his favourite pastime. Personal staircases that lead him towards his magical desire. He trusted himself, explored and dreamed. In his final year, he overcame all the obstacles to become a pilot in the Beninese Air Force. But at the final stage, he stumbled. But no matter!

The young Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré turned his attention to another sector: the environment. The parallel with architecture is established. He still remembers it. “Originally, I wanted to study the environment. But an opportunity to train in architecture came up and I took it. In reality, there is an interconnection between the two worlds: architecture and the environment”. Since then, the stars have aligned.

Flourishing projects

The year is September 2022. On this ordinary Friday afternoon, Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré is having one meeting after another with clients. At the same time, the waiting room in his office is beginning to fill up. It has to be said that he is now marking his territory. And his name is becoming more evocative. Rear-view mirror.

In 2009, his final exam for his architecture degree was on the theme of a project being put into practice in the Bouregreg region of Morocco. He proposed to build “an observatory for sustainable architecture and energy” in this rapidly developing part of the Cherifian country.

Once he had qualified as an architect, he returned to Benin. He worked with AGETIP BENIN, l’Agence d’Execution des Travaux d’Intérêt Publics, in one of its subsidiaries: SOGIS.  There he conceptualised the creation of the “Villas de l’Atlantique”. An offer that perfectly matched the demand for housing in Cotonou. 

In 2011, he founded Inspired Design, an architecture and interior design firm. The brand continues to thrive and continues to play the innovation card. In small steps, he is carving out his path of impressive references in the architectural world of Benin… and the sub-region.

“Originally, I wanted to study the environment. But an opportunity to train in architecture came up and I took it. In reality, there is an interconnection between the two worlds: architecture and the environment”

Initial doubts give way to luminous photography. From the depths of the wave emerge flourishing projects. We can mention just a few. Batimat Missèbo’s showroom and offices exude its fine expertise. The diocesan curia of the Catholic Church in Cotonou, the Optimum warehouses and the Akassato car park are all inspired by Inspired Design.

Better still, under the dexterity of Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré, the architecture firm has demonstrated the full extent of its talent in the offices and agencies of the Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale (CNSS) and the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Services d’Information (ANSII). Other examples include the African Polytechnic University in Niamey, the Jean Pliya Museum, and the Cultural Arenas in Parakou, Kouandé and Natitingou…

International Expertise

As well as Inspired Design, Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré works on international projects as a consultant. These include Shelter Afrique. He is also Managing Director of Plan Libre Afrique, a Groupement d’Interêt Economique, which he co-founded with his partner Ernest Baduy, with offices in Cotonou. He is also a member of the Smart Alliance Professionals network. A product of his environment, he observes and proposes.

Under Patrice Talon, “you have to be competent to hold on”, he observes acutely.  In the same vein, he welcomes the major achievements of Benin’s current government in terms of architecture and improving the living environment, developing human capital and revealing Benin’s potential. However, in terms of international collaboration, the head of Inspired Design is calling for a transfer of technology in major projects carried out by foreigners in Benin, to enable local expertise to enhance its capabilities.

Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré sees the future as rosy. He is working assiduously to expand his field of action in the sub-region. What’s more, he wants to equip his company with a headquarters that will sit majestically on its premises. It is by this yardstick that the assurance of his successor will be lasting and healthy. 

Adopting Leonardo da Vinci’s luminous thought, the architect teaches us that “in nature, everything always has a reason. If you understand this reason, you no longer need experience.” That says it all. Fayçal Gaoussou Traoré navigates the waters of innovation and temporal inclusion. Inspiration, perspiration and faith. 

Alain Metodjo

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