The architectural style of Taroudant, a secular town with a strong cultural identity, is full of history and is an expression of the deep Moroccan south. The multidisciplinary Taroudant faculty is an attempt to reinterpret that heritage through a building that carries a vision for the future.
This project draws its inspiration from the land and its sensory impact. This interpretation seeks to avoid the pitfalls of clichés by extracting the essence of the context only. We have retained the massiveness, the strength, the chiaroscuro and poetic austerity of the south.
The design relies on a set of architectural and urban principles brought to life by a concept where the inward and the outward interpenetrate, there is a variety of scales and the user is integral to the architecture. The faculty is arranged around a central riad (interior garden) on the north-south axis, whose northern boundary is a garden of argan trees, giving the user an unparalleled view over the Atlas mountains. The various units are distributed around this riad, taking the need for proximity, orientation and views into account. It is arranged along an interior street, creating direct contact with the amphitheatres and enabling the optimisation of infrastructures for administrative staff. The prioritisation of the walkways follows a functional logic and is designed to optimise circulation, while reducing acoustic disturbances.Gateways and corridors create a second infrastructural level, maximizing views. The scale of the riad is diluted by a series of plots of various sizes and a series of gardens that define different buildings. The architecture is deliberately solid, closed to the east and west, but open to the north and south, with architectural features allowing natural ventilation and thermal and acoustic benefits.
The low-rise buildings are rooted into the ground as strong and opaque volumes, but lightened by a set of gateways and corridors, creating a dynamic space. The architecture reveals itself gradually from the opacity through sharp incisions and finally large frames with perspectives, views or gardens. The ochre tone of the volumes accentuates the chiaroscuro and the impression of both privacy and openness on the outside. The project seeks to define its personality by means of this duality. The user is confronted with different levels of understanding and ownership, defining the relationship to the architecture.
The mixture of nature and materiality reflects the spirit of the place and the surrounding land. Beyond the alleys, squares and plazas, the flowing nature intrudes into the space and imposes itself. Each building is arranged around open and semi-open courtyards and gardens, creating different worlds, different levels of privacy and a variety of places within one place.
The greenery is deliberately allowed to expand freely out of its geometric pattern, appearing as a result of random nature. These different architectural and landscape arrangements create a variety of environments that enrich the space for the benefit of the user’s senses.