Located in the remote Senegalese village of Sinthian, close to the Mali border, the Sinthian Cultural Centre is a multipurpose complex designed to serve the needs of the community.
The open-air centre is shielded from rain and heat. It functions as a health and education facility and a place for gatherings and cultural exchange between community members.
Built around two courtyards, the Sinthian Cultural Centre was constructed using locally available building materials such as bamboo, thatch, and blocks of rammed earth. Additionally, the design features openwork walls to regulate the temperature within the complex.
The centre, which is about ten hours drive from Dakar is also intended to serve as a residency where artists from around the world can live and work in the community.
New York-based Studio Toshiko Mori designed the centre pro-bono, with funding from Sinthian Medical Centre and American Friends of Le Korsa (AFLK), two non-profit organisations.
The geometric roof is the focal point of the cultural centre, with a steep, sloping angle that collects and retains rainwater during the brief rainy season, creating a viable source for 40 per cent of the village’s domestic water needs year round.