New Artist Residency In Senegal – Toshiko Mori

architects_ Toshiko Mori
location_Sinthian (Senegal)
completion date_ 2015
photography_ Iwan Baan+courtesy of Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

from the architect_Funded by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the ambitious project responds to a wish to foster creativity within the remote village of Sinthian and surrounding lands, as expressed by respected local leader Dr Magueye Ba. Thread’s iconic building, designed by award winning architect Toshiko Mori, has already been embraced by the local community and neighbouring villages as their own place for leisure, learning and gatherings.

Acclaimed New York-based architect Toshiko Mori has worked on this project pro-bono, designing a building that has already won an AIA New York Chapter award and was selected for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. The building is constructed using local materials and local builders have shared their sophisticated knowledge of working with bamboo, brick, and thatch. These traditional techniques are combined with design innovations by Mori. The customary pitched roof is inverted and will be capable of collecting approximately 40% of the villagers’ domestic water usage in fresh rainfall.

Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation comments on the ethos of THREAD, “When Josef and Anni Albers created the Foundation that bears their names, they stated its purpose to be “the revelation and evocation of vision through art”. They regarded the act of creation and the pleasures of seeing as the greatest means to combat hardship and provide balance and hope. Anni Albers often spoke about “starting at zero” as essential in life and Josef often extolled the wonders of experimentation.” THREAD has been built in accord with these values.

Local leader, Dr. Magueye Ba and U.S. based non-profit organisation, American Friends of Le Korsa (AFLK) have worked together in running Sinthian’s medical centre, building its first kindergarten, and funding its teachers’ salaries and helping the community initiate new agricultural practices. Now, with the help of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the village will see the inauguration of a new facility that will complement the existing infrastructure, and promises to stimulate further creativity in the region.