Designed by Toshiko Mori and completed in 2014, the Artist Residency and Cultural Centre in Senegal is an ecologically sensitive meeting place that demonstrates how art and architecture can be part of rural life.
Thread: Artist Residency and Cultural Centre technical information
- Architects : Toshiko Mori Architects
- Location : Sinthian, Senegal
- Typology : Cultural Architecture / Cultural Center
- Client : Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
- Size: Built Area: 1’048 m2; Site area: 6’232 m2
- Completed : 2014
- Source : Aga Khan Award for Architecture
- 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 centre 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 centre and elementary school programme 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 centre 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 organisation 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 centre, 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.