SALIMA NAJI IS AN ARCHITECT
FROM THE PARIS-LA-VILLETTE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND DOCTORATE IN SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY FROM THE ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES IN PARIS.
Engaged in numerous projects for the protection of the oasis heritage, she founded her agency in Morocco in 2004 to propose a constructive alternative, by privileging the technologies of raw materials (earth and stone) and biosourced materials, in a process of innovation respectful of the environment. Rare woman to work in the rural world and the Moroccan South where she has been based since 2008, she is a pioneer and contributes through her continuous advocacy (pilot sites, press, exhibition, publication, symposium) to gradually change architectural practices and the urban planning code.
For nearly 20 years, it has been multiplying participative building sites around Saharan collective architectures (ksours and collective granaries) in order to enhance the value of these built ensembles in their landscapes. At the same time, it is perfecting all vernacular techniques for contemporary architecture of a social nature (maternity hospitals, cultural centers, women’s homes, boarding schools, etc.) to propose sustainable development based on the inhabitants and a fine knowledge of the territories.
Its practice is coupled with intense scientific activity. It is thus invested in numerous international action research programs that question sustainability and the profound relationship between societies and their environment through the prism of architecture. She is also a member of the scientific committee of the Berber Museum of the Jardin Majorelle since 2011 (Yves Saint-Laurent-Pierre Bergé Foundation Marrakech & Paris) and is developing an important reflection on cultural mediation and the transmission of built and archaeological heritage.
She has published numerous works of architecture, The Ksar of Assa. Sauvegarde d’un port du Maroc saharien in 2013 (reprint in progress), Greniers collectifs de l’Atlas in 2006, Portes du Sud Marocain in 2003, Art et architectures berbères in 2001 (reprint 2009), as well as an essay of anthropology Fils de saints contre fils d’esclaves, Les pèlerinages de la Zawya d’Imi n’Tatelt (Anti-Atlas et Présahara, Maroc) in 2011. Finally, in 2010, she wrote the preface to the republication of Henri Terrasse’s 1938 work, Kasbas Berbères de l’atlas et des oasis (Les grandes architectures du Sud marocain).
His latest book published in 2019 is entitled “Architectures of the Common Good. For an ethic of preservation“.
Knight of Arts and Letters (2017), she has received numerous national and international architecture awards (Holcim Prize for Sustainable Development, Africa-Middle East, 2011; Takrim of the Order of Architects of Morocco 2007 and Merit Award 2019; “Young Architects 2004” Award of the EDF Foundation). His work was recognized in 2013 in the shortlist of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture: “Preservation of Sacred and Collective Oasis Sites”.