#Archifocus: Ricardo Bofill buildings in North Africa

The famous Spanish architect, known for his projects across the world from Barcelona to Beijing to Dakar, has contributed a number of projects to the growing urbanisation of North Africa.

Comprising structures of great magnitude, like the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and the Houari Boumedienne Agricultural Village, his firm’s work can be found dotting the Moroccan and Algerian landscapes.

And in celebration of architecture of the Arab-Mediterranean, DesignMENA spends a minute shining the weekly spotlight on one of our favourite architects, kick starting  the first of many #Archifocus series.

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Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Benguérir, Morocco, 2016

Spanning across 55 hectares, the campus for the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is a sustainable development located just 50 miles north of Marrakech. The masterplan consists of narrow streets, squares and a central axis that encourages pedestrian circulation.

Its courtyards, gardens and semi-covered streets offer social spaces for students and teachers, enhancing a sense of community. The design was inspired by the architectural styling of Moroccan cities, namely Fez, Meknes and Rabat.

 

Houari Boumedienne Agricultural Village, Abadla, Algeria, 1980

Located in Algeria’s western district of Abadla, the Houari Boumedienne agricultural village consists of an urban nucleus combined with single-family dwellings.

The project’s dwellings contain geometrical forms that were inspired by Arab and Mediterranean traditions, while its large central square serves as the local marketplace and meeting area, which hosts festivities and spectacles.

 

Casablanca Twin Center. Casablanca, Morocco. 1998

The office and retail complex signalled the creation of a new district – one that offered office space and car parking.

With the twin towers the landmark of the district was conceived specifically for commerce and finance.

Located on a triangular site, the buildings’ asymmetry was inspired by the proportions and aesthetics of the rich Moresque tradition.

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