Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1986.
This low-income residential community for 25'000 people consists of over 4'000 units organised around a large central square in which the mosque, markets and festival hall are located. Surrounding this central area on three sides are six housing clusters made up of parallel rows of attached four- and five-storey apartment blocks separated by pedestrian streets that give access to all buildings. Entrances face each other and open staircases act as communal balconies. The planning and design approach was based on the observation that for low-income, formerly rural or nomadic people, public space, pedestrian networks and the interrelation of housing groups are more important than the design organisation of the individual units. Furthermore, safety and security were seen to be of great importance. The jury noted that Dar Lamane "represents an innovative approach to planning. Gateways mark the entrance to the shopping streets and link the clusters of housing; their introduction is a brilliant device to provide a sense of territoriality which is fundamental to the success of a housing project. Even more important is that the gateway embodies many layers of meanings and functions that are deeply rooted in Moroccan culture."
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture