Toshiko Mori: Thread Building

The cultural centre designed by Toshiko Mori in a rural village in Senegal – commissioned by Josef and Anni Albers Foundation – features local materials and local builders to give shape to an artist residency that is also a hub for the local community.

Toshiko Mori Architect, Thread building, Sinthian, Senegal. Photo: Iwan Baan
The rural village of Sinthian in south-eastern Senegal is the setting for a new cultural centre, conceived and funded by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut in collaboration with a local leader in Sinthian.
The building – designed pro-bono by Toshiko Mori – 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.
Toshiko Mori Architect, Thread building, Sinthian, Senegal. Photo: Iwan Baan
Toshiko Mori Architect, Thread building, Sinthian, Senegal. Photo: Iwan Baan

The customary pitched roof is inverted and will be capable of collecting approximately 40% of the villagers’ domestic water usage in fresh rainfall. The building has already won an AIA New York Chapter award and was selected for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Opened in March 2015, Thread offers residencies for visiting international artists alongside a diverse range of programs that provide the people of Sinthian and the surrounding region with the opportunity to discover new forms of creativity and cultivate their skills. A venue for markets, education, performances and meetings, the centre is a hub for the local community and a place where the resident artists can have a truly meaningful experience of Sinthian society.


Thread, Sinthian, Senegal
Program : artist residency and cultural centre
Architects : Toshiko Mori
Client : Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
Completion : 2015

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