atelier masōmī

Mariam Kamara is an architect from Niger who studied architecture at the University of Washington. In 2013, she co-founded architectural collective, united4design, alongside Yassi Esmaili, Elizabeth Golden and Philip Sträter. The collective worked on projects in the United States, Afghanistan and Niger. Niamey2000, designed by united4design, was awarded an American Institute of Architects Seattle Award and Architect Magazine’s 2017 R+D Award for innovation. Hikma Religious and Secular Complex, designed by Kamara and Yassi Esmaili, won the 2017 Gold LafargeHolcim Award for Africa and Middle East, and the 2018 Silver Global LafargeHolcim Award for Sustainable Architecture.

In 2014, Kamara founded atelier masōmī, an architecture and research practice with offices in Niger’s capital, Niamey. The firm tackles public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. Kamara believes that architects have an important role to play in creating spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide people with a better quality of life.

Other projects include the Dandaji Regional Market, which was shortlisted for the Dezeen Awards in 2019. Upcoming projects include the Niamey Cultural Centre, which Kamara designed under the mentorship of Sir David Adjaye as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé programme. 

In 2019, Kamara was named as a Laureate of the Prince Claus Award. She was a 2019 Royal Academy of Arts Dorfman Awards finalist. Last year, The New York Times named her as one of 15 Creative Women of Our Time. She was the head of the jury for Middle East Africa at the LafargeHolcim Awards. The Royal Institute of Canada named her as one of their 2020 Honorary Fellows.

The firm made its debut on the 2021 AD100 list.

Courtesy of atelier masōmī

Past Works

Hikma Religious and Secular Complex, 2018

Mariam Kamara (atelier masōmī) in collaboration with Yasaman Esmaili (studio chahar); courtesy of James Wang

Niamey 2000, 2016

atelier masōmī in collaboration with united4design; courtesy of Torsen Seidel

Dandaji Regional Market, 2018

Courtesy of Maurice Ascani