We must learn to understand [monuments of our past] well, not simply to preserve them as museums of past glories, but to feel in every part of them – a stone masonry, a brick dome, a window, an ornament, or a garden arrangement – that unique spirit, that unique way which made these monuments Islamic. Only then will we be able to impart the same spirit to the technical means and to the forms of to-day.
Shortlisted Project – 2014-2016 Award Cycle: Thread – Artists Residency & Cultural Center Senegal
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.
An ecologically sensitive meeting place demonstrates how art and architecture can be part of rural life.
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Researched & Compiled by Arif Ali