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Amalgamating Two Worlds:Learning from the Medina to propose an alternative to the new urban fabrics in the peripheral suburbs of Moroccan cities This project proposes an intervention to an empty peri-urban modern apartment block in Fes, Morocco, by injecting the traditional lifestyle learned from the city's medieval Medina. Deconstructing spatial layout of the modern apartment building, the project suggests alternative urban layout to bring Moroccan concept of house back, which highlights courtyard as a centre of the domestic network. Offering a new travel hub outside of the old town, the scheme aims to reduce pressure on the population of tourists and craftsmen in the Medina and to fill the infrastructural gap to empower low income families in the peri-urban area.Conceptually, the project mixes opposites: modernisation versus a traditional lifestyle; public realm versus private realm; welcoming guests versus protecting the family. Those three opposites represent the current situation of Morocco facing rapid modernisation over traditional context and the lifestyle they put emphasis on the social harmony of private and public realm. The design proposal explains the ideas to renovate one by one through models, digital drawings and render, and shows the socio-cultural impact of deconstructing spatial configuration of old apartment together with infilling the identified empty areas.
Section: Private Realm in the Centre and Public Realm at the Periphery
The section shows overall strategy of the project. Sectional layout gives the different degree of privacy and publicness across the living block. The rooms in the apartment is transformed to accommodate existing low-income families and travellers, while the infill serves the function of public spaces, such as retail, cultural workshop and courtyard.
Concept: Infilling an Urban Void
Through reflections on lessons from the Medina of Fes, the spatial and social fabric of the original city is reproduced once more in the new peripheral area. Infilling devastated empty area with public functions, the intervention shows the harmonious vision of Moroccan traditional architecture and modernized apartment, and adds additional layers of publicness in the whole living block.
Plan: Bringing Islamic Concept of House Back
The idea of deconstructing spatial configuration of old apartment with newly suggested courtyard, the project brings Islamic concept of house back. While the current modern apartment block regards a house as a pack of rooms in a box, the proposed house is better defined with the relationship between courtyard as a public space and rooms in the apartment as a private space.
Render 1: Structure to Adapt Rectangular Apartment
The idea of the traditional public courtyard influenced the design of the most public spaces of a living block. A CNC timber wall emulates the easy construction of the traditional thick wall.
Render 2 : Structure to Create Organic Form of Living Block
The circular column reflects the more organic form of internal living spaces. Its flexibility accommodates various physical conditions of the existing fabric. Interior finishes have contemporary and abstract Arabic references to create a warm atmosphere.
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