Great Mosque of Niono - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Great Mosque of Niono

Great Mosque of Niono
Location: Niono, Mali (West Africa)
Architect: Lassina Minta
Client: Muslim Community of Niono
Completed: 1973
Site size: 1'980 m²

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Great Mosque of Niono Project Brief

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.

1983 Award Recipients