Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983.
This mud brick mosque, a great monument in the vernacular tradition, is the work of a local master mason who conceived and constructed it almost exclusively with local materials, using only workmen from Niono. The construction techniques and materials, load bearing mud brick walls and arches supporting floors and roofs of wood, matting, and earth have been used in the region for centuries. The structural module is determined by the length of wood available. Each mud brick pier supports the springing of arches in four directions. The arches in turn support the flat span of the roof. The jury commented: "The continuing existence of traditional forms -- both sophisticated and primitive -- is one of our strongest allies in retaining architectural character and cultural identity as large-scale modern industry and world-wide building models assert their presence. Hence the will and the conscious intention to continue the tradition should be commended and encouraged."
Cantacuzino, Sherban, editor. Architecture in Continuity. New York: Aperture, 1985.
Architecture in Continuity celebrates projects throughout the Islamic world that most successfully preserve indigenous forms while providing for the future, It honors the insight, imagination, and skill that brought these projects into physical reality. The Aga Khan Awards attention to the extraordinary effort required to develop an architecture both practical and spiritual is dramatically reflected in this volume, the second (1983) of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture series. The eleven projects found in nine countries from Mali to Pakistan, from Yugoslavia to Malaysia, range from hotels to mosques, from housing to an impressive air terminal for pilgrims to Mecca. The Award winners show a deep respect for tradition, displayed in the historic buildings restored for contemporary purposes. Everyone connected with each project - the architect, client, and builder, the local craftsmen, artisans, and consultants - is honored for contributing to an integrity of purpose, to a spirit that is of and for the people. This collection of color photographs by some of the world's finest photographers exquisitely depicts the Award-winning buildings. The introduction and three essays, by distinguished architects and architectural historians, explore the projects in terms of the pressures confronting emerging Muslim countries, the influence of the Western postindustrial world, and traditional Muslim forms and values.