The Tambacounda Maternity and Paediatric hospital builds upon 15 years of extraordinary work in rural eastern Senegal by the Albers Foundation and Le Korsa. Echoing Josef and Anni Albers’ shared ethos and belief in the use of ‘minimal means for maximum effect’, this project goes far beyond a single architectural structure, embedding itself within the local community, economy and landscape.
It was in this spirit that in 2005 Nicholas Fox Weber, the Director of the Foundation, established Le Korsa to encompass the philanthropic initiatives of the Foundation in the region. Since then the Foundation and Le Korsa have provided support to rural Senegalese communities across the fields of culture, education and health. In 2015 they launched THREAD, a cultural centre for local inhabitants of the rural village of Sinthian designed pro bono by architecture firm Toshiko Mori, which since its establishment has fostered cultural exchange between local communities and international residents. In the field of education, the Foundation and Le Korsa last year constructed an elementary school in the village of Fass, designed once again by Toshiko Mori, the first school in a region of over 110 villages to provide secular education alongside traditional Quranic teaching. Both structures share subtle yet evocative references to Josef and Anni’s practices and Bauhaus aesthetics, such as the beautiful woven rooves reminiscent of Anni’s textiles and the geometric patterns on walls and doors recalling Josef and Anni’s prints.