studio BELEM develops its post-COVID housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco

studio BELEM develops its post-COVID housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco

back in may 2020, studio BELEM shared their flexible housing concept in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. the proposal moved away from traditional architectural and urban planning models and instead supported innovative ways of living. now, the paris and casablanca-based studio has taken the idea to a bigger scale for a private client in morocco. called ‘aswar el beyt’, this project imagines a new city built near marrakech that reinvents the moroccan medina.

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

public place

images and diagrams courtesy of studio BELEM

 

 

for the project, studio BELEM has looked at how COVID-19 is transforming the way we live and work. with the increasing home-office trend, many people no longer want to accept cramming into public transportation or wasting hours stuck in traffic jams to get to their workplace, especially considering the pollution that it causes. 

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

circulation

 

 

communication channels are also evolving, improving, and making physical meetings between colleagues from the same workspace unnecessary. while new types of homes, be it blended families or living with housemates, are making the traditional housing model obsolete. furthermore, in the moroccan context, a ‘rural exodus’ has led many young people to leave their family home to live alone or in flatshares in the city. 

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

courtyard

 

 

these new dynamics have inspired studio BELEM to design awar el beyt, a flexible and lively place, where living and working together is possible. the proposal steps away from the codes of traditional moroccan housing and rethinks the pre-established functions of a home. the concept brings back a natural environment into the city, promoting new commonly shared spaces and social interactions between its residents.

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

interior

 

 

the urban project is developed in a 10 hectares square, which appears as the city’s ‘macro unit’. each district has collective facilities and shops that makes it autonomous (cultural programs, sports facilities, places of worship, shops and green spaces). each district also offers its residents two types of housing: apartment buildings and private villas.

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

site plan

 

 

the buildings follow a simple logic: build high and dense in the center of each macro unit and around a central void, which becomes a place of public and social life in the neighborhood, and erect low at the periphery. the volumes are fragmented on the upper floors to create a succession of terraces open onto the landscape. the buildings are placed next to each other to form a ‘chain’ of volumes.

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

second floor plan of an apartment building

 

 

the multi-family apartment buildings include apartments that can accommodate more than 150 people. different types can accommodate all types of contemporary homes (young people, couples, or large families). 

 

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

first floor plan of a villa

 

 

on the other hand, the villas are grouped by four around a common courtyard. each of them has a private garden and a swimming pool.

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

villa section

 

 

as well as providing a diversity of housing types in flexible units that can be adapted, the design also prioritizes green spaces to create an ecosystem and reconnect with nature. finally, studio BELEM also strives to ensure social diversity by providing social housing in each collective building.

studio-belem-housing-concept-theoretical-city-morocco-designboom-1800-1

apartment building section

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom

home types

studio BELEM develops housing concept for a theoretical city in morocco designboom 

modularity diagram

 

 

project info:

 

project name: awar el beyt

type: residential

status: concept

design: studio BELEM

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