Infoscience

Student project
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Constructing the desert. Hotel and coach station (Ouarzazate, Maroc)

Desertification process keeps on expanding, particularly on the African continent, arid areas cover one third of the surface. At the same time, the world human population increases exponentially. For these reasons, it is important to keep on exploiting these desert zones. Ouarzazate is situated in the south of Morocco in a sub-desert climate. The city is nicknamed “Door of the desert” because of its strategic location: it is situated at the junction of the two roads, which give accessibility to the south of Morocco and the Sahara desert. The region is well known for its architectural patrimony and more recently for the cinema activities. These two different domains make increase the number of visitors in this part of the country and there will soon be a lack of host infrastructure including hotels. The project, a hotel and a coach station, doesn't want to be closed-off on itself, but to take place in the city centre to benefit of the existing activities; at the same time the two programs are close to the main crossroad of the region. This situation is accorded with the way tourists travel in the region: moving a lot in order to discover a maximum of sites spread in the south and staying a short time in the same place. The hotel is inspired by the caravanserai, which was a roadside inn along the trade routes where travellers could rest and recover from the day's journey. It supported the flow of commerce, information and people. It was a place where travellers could acquire new supplies and there were also shops where merchants could dispose of some of their goods. The issue of this project in the desert is to build in a sustainable way using contemporary building construction modes being in the same time inspired by vernacular architecture.

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