Ouled Merzoug Women’s House
Ouled Merzoug, Morocco

Ouled Merzoug’s earthen architecture tradition is under threat from a rise in cheap concrete construction. This project seeks to keep it alive by using it to create modern architecture and emphasising ecological and climatic qualities. Offering spaces for local women’s empowerment through learning and earning, its two volumes - workshop and bakehouse - are differently oriented to follow the natural topography. Each opens onto an intimate garden designed to enhance its programme, with a sink for washing and dyeing wool in the workshop garden, and a cob oven in the bakehouse garden. Granite was dug from nearby hills for the building envelopes. Inner walls are adobe. Roof spans are based on the maximum length of eucalyptus beams available locally; ceilings are of locally sourced reed; earth, river sand, lime, and straw are used for wall and floor finishes. A forest garden greens formerly naked rocks alongside, creating a shady new public space. 

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Ouled Merzoug, Morocco
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Associated Names
Completed 2019
130 m²
Building Usages
urban design and development