May 11, 2022

Bët-bi is a new museum and center for culture and community in rural Senegal being developed by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Le Korsa.

Proposed rendering of Bët-bi by atelier masomi.

Due to open in early 2025, the museum will be a living and breathing institution with art as its focal point and offer a dedicated education program with a variety of initiatives aimed at engaging local and national communities, as well as performances, film screenings, and other events, all free and open to the public.

Bët-bi’s core goal is to bring the joys of visual art to a population that may not previously have had access to museums, as well as to an international audience, and to bring human beings together through art from all corners of the globe. Bët-bi — which means the eye in Wolof — will be constructed on a site in the vicinity of Kaolack situated in the Senegambia region of West Africa which is renowned for the remarkable ancient stone megaliths that proliferate across this area and includes four UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Rolex Pavilion and Exhibition : Mariam Kamara, by Rolex/Stephane Rodrigez Delavega.

Mariam Issoufou Kamara, an architect from Niger and founder of the award-winning practice atelier masōmī, has been selected by a jury to lead the design of Bët-bi. The practice, based in Niamey, is guided by the principle that “architecture is an important tool for social change,” with the possibility, through intentional design, to “give dignity and better people’s quality of life.”

The project is already drawing the attention of the press. Designboomhas published a beautiful overview, mentioning how the “new cultural complex also aims to help revitalize the local economy. ” You can also read more in Wallpaper and Dezeen.

If you would like to help us realize Bët-bi, please join us by making a donation!