Toshiko Mori Architect

New York City, USA

BIENNIAL PROJECT

Thread Artist Residency in Senegal

Toshiko Mori’s design for the Thread Artist Residency and cultural center was completed in Sinthian, in the Tambacounda region of Senegal. It was intended to catalyze exchange between West African artists, locals, and a global audience. The title Thread acknowledges the support of the Anni Albers Foundation, the titular figure of which was renowned for her weavings that were learned at the Bauhaus school in Germany, where she later taught as well. The project brings together the Bauhaus history of craft and tradition with that of Mori’s research into the vernacular traditions of knotting and weaving. The building carries a sweeping thatched roof that is influenced by vernacular conventions learned through collaboration, designed through software, and built with local craftsmen. Mori notes that thatched roof construction occurs everywhere in the world and allows for an increase in size, performance, and span when combined with contemporary design tools and engineering knowledge. Shown here as a scale model, one can see the typological basis of the roof and undulating geometries that reorganize the directionality of the weave in ways that afford diversity of forms.

BIO

Toshiko Mori Architect is known for over thirty years of innovative and influential work in a diverse body of projects that have received numerous design awards. Mori's intelligent approach to ecologically sensitive siting strategies, historical context, and innovative use of materials reflects a creative integration of design and technology. Her designs demonstrate a thoughtful sensitivity to detail and involve extensive research into the site conditions and surrounding context.

Toshiko Mori Architect has worked on a broad range of programs including urban, civic, institutional, cultural, residential, museum and exhibition design. Architectural Digest listed TMA three times amongst their biennial AD100 and the firm's artists' residency and cultural center in rural Senegal was awarded the 2017 AIA Institute Honor Award. TMA also recently completed the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and was selected to design the Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs at Brown University.

The firm continues to engage in an architecture of material exploration, technological invention and theoretical provocation.

Biennial Project: Toshiko Mori Architect, Thread Artist Residency in Senegal, 2017. Photo courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial / Tom Harris