For the last decade Salima Naji, trained as an architect and anthropologist, has worked to save the heritage of several oasis towns in the anti-Atlas mountains of Morocco. This ambitious undertaking involves four sites that range in scale from communal granaries to partially abandoned fortified towns. Naji has carried out the work with skilled masons and unskilled workmen, whom she has trained in traditional building techniques and who go on to apply their skills at other sites. Architecture and public spaces have been conserved not only for their historic value, but as locally rooted, sustainable models for contemporary building. Throughout, Naji has encouraged a participatory process with new and traditional community groups and actors. Her work provides an alternative model for conservation in Morocco: one that insists on maintaining the link between local communities and their historic environments.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Preservation of Sacred and Collective Oasis Sites (Alternate)
Préservation des Architectures Sacrées et Collectives des Oasis du Maroc
"Preservation of Sacred and Collective Oasis Sites.” In Architecture is Life, edited by Mohsen Mostafavi. Zurich: Lars Muller Publishers, 2013.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage excellence in architecture and other forms of intervention in the built environment of societies with a Muslim presence. The Award is given every three years and recognizes all types of building projects that affect today's built environment. Smaller projects are given equal consideration as large-scale buildings. Richly illustrated and with explanatory texts, Architecture is Life, the monograph for the 2013 cycle, presents the 15 shortlisted and the 5 Award recipients. The 2013 cycle's topic is centered around the relationship between life and architecture. Numerous essays examine how architecture interacts with the life of people who inhabit it.
Source: Lars Muller Publishers and Aga Khan Award for Architecture