Selected Projects > KoFalen Cultural Center - Bamako, Mali, West Africa

The Ko-Falen Cultural Center seeks to promote cultural, artistic and educational exchanges between the people of the United States and those of Mali. This is accomplished through art workshops, dance, music, storytelling and ceremony. “The Ko-Falen Cultural Center gives us a reason to learn about other cultures and places that we otherwise wouldn’t know exist. This is definitely the beginning of creating relationships and getting acquainted with each other. Once you get to know each other, it is easy to work together and appreciate each other. This is a great dream!” Yacouba Coulibaly, building engineer By creating a center built by both local neighbors and visiting Americans, the Malians living in the Boulkassoumbougou neighborhood are welcome to interact with people and share stories that may otherwise never have been told. Phase one was designed and constructed in 2005-2007. This current phase was to add a second level onto the center so as to allow ceremonial gatherings and extended story telling. These stories will be recorded (voice and video) so the oral history of the culture is not lost. Working closely with native Malian, artist, and storyteller Baba Wague Diakite, our job was to design a solution that worked not only technically, but that was economically sustainable, and which connected to an even greater extent than the original building, to the ceremonial mango forest adjacent.