Mariam Kamara

Principal & Owner, atelier masōmī

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    Mariam Kamara, Principal & Owner of atelier masōmī, Niamey, Niger.

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    Holcim Awards 2017 for Middle East Africa prize handover ceremony, Nairobi

    Winners of the Holcim Awards Gold 2017 Middle East Africa (l-r): Iranian architect Yasaman Esmaili and Nigerien architect Mariam Kamara for Legacy Restored: Religious and secular complex, Dandaji, Niger.

Mariam Kamara is Principal & Owner of atelier masōmī based in Niger and was Head of the Holcim Awards jury for region Middle East Africa in 2020.

Last updated: August 15, 2021 Niamey, Niger

Founded in 2015, the architecture and research firm tackles a wide variety of public, cultural, residential, commercial and urban design projects. Her work is guided by the belief that architects have an important role to play in thinking spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide a better quality of life.

She was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Studies at Brown University, Providence RI, USA (2017-18).

Mariam Kamara was a founding member of united4design, a Seattle-based global collective of architects working on projects in Afghanistan, Niger and USA (2013-16).

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology from Purdue University (2001) and an Masters of Science in Computer Science from New York University (2004). She then obtained her Masters of Architecture from the University of Washington (2013) where her thesis project, Mobile Loitering, focused on issues of gender and public space in Niger, West Africa. Her research-based design was awarded the department’s thesis prize, a special mention in the 2014 Young Architects in Africa Competition, and was exhibited in Africa Big Chance Big Change at the 2014 Milan Triennale.

She won the Global Holcim Award Silver 2018 with Yasaman Esmaili for “Legacy Restored: religious and secular complex in Niger”. The project focuses on the development and wellbeing of the local workforce and communities by preserving traditional construction materials/techniques and supporting the local economy. The independent jury praised the project for “providing civic space for both genders and promoting the education of women and their presence within the community.”

Mariam Kamara was Head of the Holcim Awards jury for region Middle East Africa in 2020.