Designed pro-bono by Toshiko Mori Architect, and built by a local team of contractors, Thread combines local materials and building customs with an innovative design and specific geometry. It won an AIA National Honors award, was short-listed for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, selected for the 2014 Venice Biennale, won two Architizer awards, and was named as one of the best buildings and projects of 2015 by many notable journals, including Architectural Record, WIRED Magazine, among others.
Local masons and villagers provided their sophisticated knowledge of working with bamboo, brick, and thatch. Meanwhile Toshiko Mori Architect via lead designer Jordan MacTavish innovated the application of those materials in a new geometry, creating a structure that provides for the village while acting as a great source of pride for the masons, the people of Sinthian, and the region of Tambacounda.
Thread’s socio-cultural role is most pronounced in its function as an agricultural hub for Sinthian and the surrounding villages. Its staff provides the community with sustained agricultural and organizational training, while the physical site offers several gardens that locals cultivate for sustenance and as an income source. In addition to being served by a bore well, the building’s roof collects and retains rainwater, creating an ongoing water supply for these agricultural projects, which is crucial during the eight-month dry season.
Thread posits that art, culture, and architecture should be supported in tandem with agriculture, education, and health, and that all of these sectors support one another.