OUALALOU+CHOI shades marrakech with modular pavilion of tensile vaults

OUALALOU+CHOI shades marrakech with modular pavilion of tensile vaults

a canvas for exchange in marrakech

 

In a fusion of architectural innovation and sustainability, OUALALOU+CHOI designs this ‘village’ pavilion to front the Annual Meeting for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Running from October 9th — 15th, the ongoing meeting is being held this year in Marrakech with the aim of exploring the future of temporary city planning. The 14,000 attendees to the event will be welcomed by this forty-hectare canopy with its modular design and translucent, tensile rooftops.

Sprawling alongside the city’s historic medina, the Village pavilion is organized within a circular layout. At its heart, a colossal canopy structure looms, casting a protective shadow over the primary circulation path. This array of shaded vaults assumes the role of an informal meeting point, encouraging spontaneous connections among the participants. Inspired by Morocco’s nomadic tradition of moussems, the structure reminds visitors of the annual harvest and cultural festivals that have long united communities in tented villages.

oualalou choi marrakechimages © Luc Boegly | @lucboegly

 

 

Dividing Spaces, Bridging Cultures

 

The architects at OUALALOU + CHOI design this grand canopy not only to shield the Village pavilion, but also to orchestrate its division into four distinct neighborhoods, each housing various event programs and offices. These neighborhoods pay homage to the diverse geographical and ecological regions of Morocco, incorporating indigenous flora into each quarter. The result is a sensory journey through the multifaceted landscapes of this enchanting nation.

Positioned at the very heart of the site, a reconstructed version of the Moroccan Pavilion — designed by OUALALOU+CHOI for Expo 2020 Dubai — stands as a beacon, inviting visitors to explore Morocco’s rich history and culture. The pavilion is a labyrinth of exhibition spaces and four Moroccan gardens, offering a contemporary interpretation of traditional kasbahs, constructed using locally-sourced red earth. The team’s ingenuity shines through in the innovative use of prefabricated rammed earth panels attached to a steel framework, a technique that not only captures the essence of Moroccan architecture but also meets the tight construction schedule.

oualalou choi marrakech
the canopy provides a focal point and a shaded gathering space, embracing a tradition of nomadic gatherings

 

 

oualalou+choi to Repurpose the Wooden Structures

 

The commitment to sustainability extends to the 650 office spaces for delegates, which are housed in wooden structures specially designed for reuse. Following the event, all forty-eight wooden structures will be carefully dismantled, transported, and given a new lease on life as educational buildings in Morocco. This transformation underscores the architects’ dedication to promoting a circular economy, minimizing waste, and leaving a lasting positive impact on the host country.

oualalou choi marrakech
originally designed for Expo 2020 Dubai, a reconstructed version of the Moroccan Pavilion takes center stage oualalou choi marrakech
the array of shaded vaults assumes the role of an informal meeting point OUALALOU+CHOI shades marrakech with modular pavilion of tensile vaultsthe space is inspired by Morocco’s nomadic tradition of moussems, or annual festive gatherings

oualalou-choi-marrakech-morocco-village-annual-meeting-world-bank-designboom-06a

the pavilion occupies a 40-hectare site adjacent to the medina of Marrakech

OUALALOU+CHOI shades marrakech with modular pavilion of tensile vaults
the rebuilt Moroccan Pavilion is clad with prefabricated rammed earth panels attached to a steel framework

oualalou-choi-marrakech-morocco-village-annual-meeting-world-bank-designboom-08a

the Village pavilion is divided into four ‘neighborhoods,’ each inspired by different regions of Morocco

 

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floor plan
floor plan

project info:

 

project title: Village

architecture: OUALALOU+CHOI | @oualalou.choi

location: Marrakech, Morocco

event: Annual Meeting for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

photography: © Luc Boegly | @lucboegly

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