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."
Great Mosque of Niono On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1995.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.