The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Le Korsa has announced that Niger-born architect Mariam Issoufou Kamara, founder of award-winning practice atelier masōmī, has been selected to design Bët-bi, a new museum and center for culture and community in southwestern Senegal. Located near a series of megaliths in the vicinity of the historic city of Kaolack, Bët-bi is set to be a state-of-the-art museum that sits at the forefront of West Africa’s flourishing arts scene and wider cultural renaissance.
Atelier Masomi: The Latest Architecture and News
Mariam Issoufou Kamara Chosen to Design New Museum and Center for Culture and Community in West Senegal
Architect Mariam Kamara—founder of Niamey, Niger-based firm Atelier Masōmī—is a contrarian of design pedagogy as it is largely practiced today. To Kamara, modern is not synonymous with European forms, architecture is not only for Westerners to define, and the so-called canon of great buildings actually ignores most of the built world. The Niger-based architect's rapidly growing practice informs a series of lectures she has delivered recently at MIT, Columbia University GSAPP, the African Futures Institute in Ghana, and Harvard GSD.
Countries that are part of the so-called “global south” have undergone many transformations in their cities and urban contexts in recent years due to the economic and social challenges they face. Urban growth, sustainable development, quality of life and health in emerging cities, and the development of their own cultural identity have been some of the issues that local architecture had to incorporate.
Young architects have understood the importance of making an architecture that is deeply rooted in their own territory while giving this architecture a clear local identity. By generating new typologies and using their own resources and materials, they have presented innovative, site-specific, and, above all, solutions with a new fresh focus towards what represents them as creators of this architecture.
The Royal Academy has revealed the shortlist for their annual prize recognizing young talent in architecture, the Dorfman Award. The award is given to those "...reimagining the future of architecture and whose work demonstrates a high degree of sensitivity to local and global context." The 2019 shortlist comprises four emerging architects practicing across the globe.
This year's shortlisted designers/practices are: Fernanda Canales (Mexico), Alice Casey and Cian Duggan of TAKA Architects (Ireland), Mariam Kamara of Atelier Masomi (Niger), and Boonserm Premthada of Bangkok Project Studio (Thailand.) The jury for this year's prize included chair Alan Stanton, Louisa Hutton, Phyllida Barlow, Kirsty Wark, Lesley Lokko, and Richard Burdett. The winner will be announced later this year.