Territories, people, constructive processes

Adapted innovation, appropriate innovation.
Eco-construction facing the challenges of a certain modernity,
the resilience of oasis architectures.

Architecture is a compendium of lines, imprints of forms and tracings, left by Man on the surface of the earth, at the moment when he settles in a given place, at the moment when he chooses his place of life. In Morocco, in hostile environments where water is scarce, societies of semi-transhumants, great nomads, sedentary societies, all communities linked together, live side by side in hostile environments where water is scarce. From nomadic tents to oasis architecture, one can read the lines, paths taken at different times of the year, paths of routes, paths of clues, sequias of canals, caravan routes that come to connect spaces between them and that invite you to move your gaze to the manufactured material, from the spun tent to the oasis town planning, from the landscape to the raw earth or stone architecture. Penetrating into the architectural material, in its manufacture from the traces left this time on a human scale, allows us to find this passage of the hand, prints and repetitions of modules, archaeological lineaments to the plans raised by architecture in the past, continues to nourish the present of a social architecture on which I have been concentrating for nearly two decades.

Oasisian spaces because of their highly symbolic dimension constitute places of reflection on the heritage, the present and the future of human societies. They attest to the capacity of human beings to constitute a viable and livable environment for centuries despite extreme climatic constraints. Agriculture and construction are closely linked around stone, earth and palm trees. They are therefore a source of inspiration for thinking about the sustainability of contemporary constructions.

Associating the anthropological dimension of heritage is for me the only answer to our heritage, still “alive”. I am particularly interested in the intervention on ancient rural buildings in its nourishing dimension: to pass from the “contemporary” to the heritage is natural for me: the unpublished documentation on the ksours, kasbahs and collective granaries and the valorization of these built ensembles in their landscapes, allows me to know how to bounce back in the social sphere.

The recognition of responsible, quality architecture that is concerned with social, economic and environmental issues has been at the heart of my approach for more than 15 years. Not without difficulty. Whether for housing, or public buildings, to show us that this path is more than possible: necessary.

Edifying for very privileged classes, already convinced, to respond to a lucrative program of a prestigious international foundation that will not get stuck in the licensing circuit, has no other impact than narcissistic complacency. We remain among the happy few who are already convinced. To get stuck with the administrations, to fight against the all-reinforced concrete that is currently favored by the public authorities, even though it is unsuitable, and then to fight again, foot to foot, against the design offices refusing the demanding techniques that come from nature, and then to build SPCs that respect a law that is not predisposed to use them (despite a few recent flexibilities). Afterwards, it will be necessary throughout the construction site to train and demand. Oppose the concrete lintels that the company wants to place against the architect, demand quality lime from a real quarry (give addresses, convince), bring in experienced masons already trained in monument restoration. Intervene before a foreman who thinks he is doing the right thing, adds white cement or makes other bad decisions thinking he is doing the right thing. (What does a woman in the construction industry know, frankly!?) It will be necessary to be present throughout the construction site, often inaccessible sites, in isolated places, with long roads sometimes ending in tracks …