Project Name: Taroudant University
Firm Location: Morocco
Completion year: 2010
Project Location: Taroudant, Morocco
Lead Architects: Saad El Kabbaj + Driss Kettani + Mohamed Amine Siana Architects
Clients: Universite Ibn d’Agadir
Contractors: Entreprise Zerkdi & Fils
Collaborators: Yassine El Aouni
Photo Credits: Fernando Guerra – FG + SG
(Text taken submitted by architect)
Secular town with a strong cultural identity, Taroudant’s architectural style, full of history, is an expression of the deep Moroccan South. The Polydisciplinar Faculty of Taroudant is an attempt to reinterpret that heritage through a building that carries a vision for the future. This project therefore draws its inspiration from the land and its manifestations to the senses. This reading tries to avoid the pitfalls of many cliches by keeping from the context only its essence. From the South we retrieve the massiveness, the strength, the clair-obscur and a poetic austerity.
To that effect, the design relies on a set of architectural and urban principles brought to life through a conception where the inward and the outward interpenetrate, the scales vary and where the user is one with architecture.The faculty is organized around a central riad (interior garden) on the north-south axis whose northern boundary is a garden of argan trees, giving the user an unmatch view over the Atlas Mountains. The various entities are deployed around this riad taking into account the need for proximity, orientation and views.
The latter is organized along an interior street, creating a direct contact with the amphitheaters and allowing the optimization of the administrative staff’s traffic. The prioritization of the walkways follows a functional logic and is designed to optimize traffic while reducing acoustic nuisances. Similarly, gateways and corridors create a second level traffic system thus multiplying the views.The scale of the riad is blurred and diluted by a set of plots of various sizes, and a series of gardens that define different buildings. The architecture is deliberately massive, closed on the east-west direction while open north-south, with an architectural feature allowing natural ventilation and thermal and acoustic comfort.