Designed by Toshiko Mori and completed in 2014, the Thread Artist Residency and Cultural Centre in Senegal serves as a testament to the power of architecture in enhancing community life. Situated amidst the rural landscape, this ecologically sensitive meeting place embodies sustainable design principles, showcasing how art and architecture can seamlessly integrate into rural life.
The center not only provides a platform for artists to create and collaborate but also acts as a cultural hub for the local community, fostering dialogue, education, and cultural exchange. Through this harmonious blend of function, sustainability, and cultural relevance, Mori’s design underscores the pivotal role architecture can play in rural development and social cohesion.
Thread Cultural Centre Technical Information
- Architects1-2: Toshiko Mori Architects
- Location: Sinthian, Senegal
- Typology: Cultural Architecture / Cultural Center
- Built Area: 1,048 m2
- Completed: 2014
- Photographs: AKTC / © Dev TV
A parametric transformation of the traditional pitched roof achieved through a process of inversion collects rainwater, creating a viable source for new agricultural projects during the eight-month dry season.
Artist Residency and Cultural Centre Photographs
Thread description by AKTC
Thread is a socio-cultural center that houses two artists’ dwellings and studio space for local and international artists. Nicolas Weber of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation had been supporting the efforts of a Senegalese doctor, Magueye Ba, in running a medical center and elementary school program serving an isolated network of rural villages in the Tambacounda region.
When Ba and Weber wanted to add elements of cultural exchange and support for the arts to the work in Tambacounda, the project of creating an artist residency and cultural center formally began under the pro-bono stewardship of Toshiko Mori, who had previously held workshops in the area. It is a hub for Sinthian and surrounding villages, providing agricultural training on the area’s fertile land and a meeting place for social organization which is, in rural Senegal, the crucial mechanism for sustainable development.
A parametric transformation of the traditional pitched roof achieved through a process of inversion collects rainwater, creating a viable source for new agricultural projects during the eight-month dry season. Thread exists at a crossroads between (inter)national artist residency, agricultural hub, community farm, water source, exhibition and performance venue, cultural center, local library, children’s play gym, and village cell phone charger. The success of its atypical plurality proves why art and architecture should be the right of all people.
About Toshiko Mori
Toshiko Mori (born 1951) is a Japanese architect and the founder and principal of New York-based Toshiko Mori Architect, PLLC, and Vision Arc. She is also the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In 1995, she became the first female faculty member to receive tenure at the GSD.
- Client: Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
- Site area: 6,232 m2
- Source: Aga Khan Award for Architecture