Taroudant University reinterprets Moroccan culture for the 21st Century
A secular town with a strong cultural identity, Taroudant's architectural style, full of history, is an expression of the deep Moroccan South. The Taroudant University is an attempt to reinterpret that heritage through a building that carries a vision for the future. To that effect, the design relies on a set of architectural and urban principles brought to life through a conception where the inward and the outward interpenetrate, the scales vary and where the user is one with architecture.
The university is organised around a central ryad (interior garden) on the north-south axis whose northern boundary is a garden of argan trees, giving the user an unmatch view over the Atlas mountains. The scale of the ryad is blurred and diluted by a set of plots of various sizes, and a series of gardens that define different buildings. The architecture is deliberately massive, closed on the east-west direction while open north-south, with an architectural feature allowing natural ventilation and thermal and acoustic comfort. Low-rise, the buildings are encamped on the ground by strong volumes, opaque, but lightened by a set of gateways and corridors.
The architecture reveals itself gradually from the opacity to long and sharp slots and finally to large frames on perspectives, views, or gardens. The ocher tone of the volumes accentuates the clair-obscur and the impression of both privacy and openness on the outside. The mix of nature and the mineral is studied to reflect the spirit of the place and the surrounding land: beyond the alleys, squares and plazas, the flowing nature intrudes the space and imposes itself. Each building is arranged around open and semi-open patios and gardens creating different worlds, different intimacies, different places in one place.