Yaama Mosque - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network
 

Yaama Mosque

Yaama Mosque
Location: Tahoua, Niger (West Africa)
Architect: El Hadji Falké Barmou
Client: The Muslim Community of Yaama
Completed: 1982
Site size: 567 m²

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Yaama Mosque Project Brief

The first version of this mud brick Friday mosque, begun in 1962, took the form of a rectangular hypostyle prayer hall with the projecting mihrab as the only secondary volume. In subsequent repairs a central dome was added and four corner towers built. Each tower is an individual sculpture with banded tapering walls becoming gradually more elaborate toward its pinnacle. Crenellations of half circles decorate the parapets and rounded cones mark the corners. Mud brick structures require cyclical maintenance, alterations and repairs. For the Yaama mosque this activity was from the beginning an act of religious devotion in which the entire community participates, and so it continues to be. Everyone contributes to the caretaking of the mosque in proportion to his or her ability to do so. Some make mud bricks; others carry them to the building site. Women carry water for brick and mortar production while others cut and gather wood. The jury commended the manifest will to use traditional techniques in a creative manner, to experiment with them and to achieve results that induce a new awareness of their possibilities.

1986 Award Recipients