Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Fez Remix by Maxwan
August 26th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Maxwan
The idea of preservation of the site is less about the buildings themselves and more about the preservation of the programs in the buildings. The spaces are designed to allow users to see first hand the work of the craftsmen and women, in terms of the actual crafts, the process of making the goods, and the application of the materials as surface materials in public space.
By providing on site water management, the craftspeople do not need to be displaced off site. They can continue to perform their work and the water system cleanses the necessary results of their craftwork. Thus allowing visitors a greater exposure/understanding of the process, and fostering cultural dialogue between the two.
Currently the site feels as though it is split by the river. The formal concept is to make the public spaces feel like a series of large courtyards, thus spreading the traditional urban fabric across the entire site.
Beyond the retaining of the historic structures, many of the low walls of to be demolished buildings will be retained. Keeping the outlines of former structures will literally allow traces of the neighborhood’s history to remain intact and in view.
On top of these baselines, additional housing, a weaving workshop, a public bath house, an open air market, and a more diverse set of overnight stay options for tourists are added. All of this is done with building typologies that draw from the surrounding traditional urban fabric.
The preservation of the site goes beyond the buildings and the program. The existing rocks on the river are a key identity to the site and are kept. A wooden deck, crafted by local artisans, is added.
An open space with a grid of ‘open columns’ references the interior rhythms of a mosque. Locally made ceramic tiles are used through out the space. Steps provide greater accessibility to the river. As the columns land on the ground they expand to create a space to sit, sell, play, etc.
The main plaza is resurfaced in local slate with the occasional small, locally crafted tile of copper and bronze. A free standing building in the plaza remains, but now clad in the same materials as the plaza. Its function becomes a restaurant with a series of alternating interior levels culminating in a new third floor added on top, affording views over the river valley and down to the plaza.