Situated in Guelmin, 200 kilometres south of Agadir and known as the “door of the Sahara”, the School was conceived in line with a policy of decentralisation and making education more accessible to those living in remote areas. Comprising a 250-seat lecture hall, classrooms, laboratories, study rooms, library, offices, sports grounds and staff accommodation, the campus is connected by a series of canopies that create sheltered walkways and seating areas along the north/south axis dividing the campus into two. This organisation makes for readability and clarity of the various elements of the project, while preserving the diversity of the programme. Principally rough-rendered reinforced concrete, buildings are linked by courtyards and partially covered walkways with metal and timber elements. Their volume is massive, yet this scaling finds balance with the projecting windows, louvers and narrow openings repeated throughout. Thermal considerations informed the design, including the orientation, window shading and natural ventilation. Low, massive and with varying volumes, the architecture is boldly contemporary but inspired by its context. Exterior walls are painted ochre, blending with the landscape and the town. In dramatic contrast, interiors are painted in immaculate white. Local stone was used for the terrazzo flooring. The landscaping minimises water use through a choice of local plants and natural ornamental rockeries.
Shortlisted Projects: Learning in Architecture and Plurality. Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi. Zurich: Lars Muller Publishers, 2016.
This publication features the winners and shortlisted projects for the 13h cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
This book brings together a diverse range of exemplary architectural projects from across the globe. Carefully selected and examined by a team of experts, these projects demonstrate innovative approaches that respond to the challenges and potentials of contemporary conditions and contexts.
One guiding principle of this 13th Cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture is the importance of plurality. Since its inception the Award has aimed to be inclusive and to embrace the engagement of a diverse group of users. But equally, it has sought projects that explore a plurality of methods and architecture in achieving that goal.
Here, the authors of the essays use that productive tension between architecture and plurality not only to provide a framework for the examination of the projects but also to explore the intellectual and projective means by which architecture are plurality can find other common grounds in the future.