Mariam Kamara, The Architect

This project is an opportunity to design a new type of space that is inspired by the roots and spiritual legacy of the region. It is a chance to push the boundaries of what defines a museum in the 21st century.

Mariam Issoufou Kamara is an architect from Niger. She studied architecture at the University of Washington. In 2014, she founded atelier masōmī, an architecture and research practice that tackles public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. The firm is headquartered in Niamey, with a design studio in New York. Kamara believes that architects have an important role to play in creating spaces that elevate, give dignity, and provide people with a better quality of life.

The firm’s completed projects include the Hikma Community Complex, a library and mosque complex, which won two Global LafargeHolcim Awards for sustainable architecture.

Other works include the Niamey 2000 Housing project, a response to Niger’s housing crisis, as well as the Dandaji Regional Market. Upcoming projects include the Yantala Office building in Niger, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development in Liberia, and Hayyan, a housing development in Sharjah, UAE. Kamara has occupied academic roles as adjunct associate professor of Urban Studies at Brown University and as the 2021 Aga Khan critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Kamara is a 2019 Laureate of the Prince Claus Award and the New York Times named her as one of 15 Creative Women of Our Time. The firm has been on the AD100 list since 2021.

www.ateliermasomi.com

Hikma Community Complex, Dandaji, Niger. Photo credit James Wang.