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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Sarah Mag Toumi Rural Agora for Bir Sallah in Tunisia by Philippe Barriere Collective Tn (PB+Co)

May 1st, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: v2com

This Cultural and Educational Communal Center is based on social, agricultural, artisanal, and technological innovation. It is managed on social entrepreneurship principles to better answer the needs of women left out of the work force in rural communities.

Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

  • Architects: Philippe Barriere Collective Tn (PB+Co)
  • Project: Sarah Mag Toumi Rural Agora for Bir Sallah
  • Location: Bir Sallah, El Hencha [Sfax], route GP1 km 214. Tunise.
  • Photography: Brigitte Messier, Yosri Boukadida, Journal Le Monde, Ibrahim Abbassi – Asma Haddouck
  • Clients: Sarah Toumi, Association AJMI TOUMI — ACACIA for All — (Founder); Asma Mansour: Tunisian Center for Social Entrepreneurship (Founder)
  • Phase 2 (2017–2018):
  • Design team: Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+Co) Yosri Boukadida, Wael Ben Mansour et (Asma Haddouk, Ibrahim Abbassi, Phase 1)
  • Engineer: Hatem Jamoussi: Optima Ingénierie

The design is guided by principles of Hybrid Architecte where traditional construction, natural eco-systems, and digital networks are integrated by design. The use of steel is minimized through an innovative lightweight column structure and a light roof canopy. Outdoors curtains protect from the sun and the rain according to the need, Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

  • Phase 1 (2014–2015): Research on Hybrid Habitat was initiated in 2014 and directed by Philippe Barrière, PhD, from 2014 up to the present.
  • Summer 2015 the École d’Architecture à l’Université Ibn Khaldoun (UIK) and the lÉcole Nationale des Ingénieurs de Tunis ENIT [Tunis School of Engineers] with Professor Oualid Limam PhD, (Director LGC at L’ENIT) join this research for 2 months with: 
    • Engineer: Hatem Jamoussi: Optima Ingénierie (PDG).
    • Engineer: Abid Med Nabil Ingénieur: Jeune Chambre International, (JCIT) – Président JCI Innovation). Jeune chambre Internationale de Tunis [JCIT].
    • Engineer Oualid Limam PhD, (Director LGC at ENIT)
    • Philippe Barriere Collective (Adnen Ben Tanfous, Asma Haddouk, Ibrahim Abbassi, Sami Isaad)
    • Construction: Fethi Harbaoui (Entreprise Harboui – Construction en pierre)
  • Interns ENIT: Hamza Louhichi, Abderrahmen Snegria, Snen Syrine
  • Interns UIK: Dorrine Nasri (Artisanat Tunisien)
  • Interns ENAU: Kaouther Moussa, Khaoula Bahroun
  • Digital Artist: Abderrahmen Ezzine

The multipurpose facility can accommodate several fonctions at the same time in an indoor setting, outdoor and in sheltered areas under the soft canopy (totally opened to the outside). They offer all very different settings which warranty its capacity of fitting different needs, Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

View of the bus stop and of the entrance gate of the Community Center. The welcoming terrace functions as a main stage to enjoy the beautiful landscape rolling gently without any obstruction towards the horizon line (see landscape picture), Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

Designed to meet the needs of a rural environment, the mission of the center is to become a place of exchange where innovation and tradition and where social, economic, cultural and environmental coalesce to work together towards revitalization, diversification and empowerment of the regions and fight against desertification.

Based on the principle of Hybrid Architecture developed in a previous research by the collective, the design combines traditional models of construction, local crafts and materials with parametric design and digital manufacturing. The goal is to promote innovation in the regions.

The terrace that dominates the panorama of the region is protected by a plant arbor that protects from the sun heat in summer and in winter, when the leaves have fallen, allows to warm up in the sun, Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

The building belongs to the landscape design to emphasize the landscape’s qualities. This pavillon can be seen as “follie”, though follies were built for visual effect alone, but like him they werew intended to improve or complete the natural setting, Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

The project includes a multiple functional eco-town housing with ground-floor shops and services (R+3), coffee shop restaurant, traditional crafts skills workshop guild house (rooftop multipurpose space addition), eco-home (rooftop addition) and a public park with outdoor exhibitions including earth and land art exhibitions.

The upper floor fonctions like a Gazebo, lookout or belvédère in the form of a turret, cupola, or garden house set on a height to give an extensive view. As a structured form, part of garden history: it is the “viewing pavilion”., Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

This Hybrid Architecture brings technical innovation which includes:

1 — Bio climatic principles have determined the design with shaded verandas, cross ventilation, high ceilings, multiple sun protection systems (cantilevered canopy) and with passive solar energy (local stone walls thermal mass). Outside insulated thermal curtains on both façades to protect from the heat.

2 — Low cost construction and materials

3 — Parametric design roof to maximum sun protection.

Services are directly built on the top existing buildings. This High Tech additions are light weight textile tensile materials (PTFE).

Image Courtesy © Yosri Boukadida

Slaughter House, existing condition, inside courtyard., Image Courtesy © Ibrahim Abbassi – Asma Haddouck (Philippe Barrière Collective)

About Sarah Majida Toumi 

Sarah Toumi is changing the agricultural sector in the Arab Maghreb subregion by introducing a new holistic farming approach to fight desertification. Her approach shifts the focus of the sector towards alternative, natural, plant-based irrigation complemented by crops that fit the local context; in addition, she creates a change movement through which farmers adopt new and sustainable farming techniques and organize themselves into cooperatives, in order to manage the entire new farming cycle.

Landscape which can been seen from the top floor of the Coffeshop., Image Courtesy © Ibrahim Abbassi – Asma Haddouck (Philippe Barriere Collective)

Sarah mag toumi planting moringa trees in her fields, Image Courtesy © Highlights

In 2012 Toumi founded the project “Acacias for All”to fight the ongoing desertification in the country. In Bir Salah, where her grandfather lived and where she realized the impact on a long time that desertification and lack of water had on the surrounding lands. She also found the effect this has on local women, who are led to take up low-paying jobs in the cities.

Toumi is adapting its project to allow local farmers to use acacias to generate income through the sale of gum and oil extracted from drought-resistant acacia and moringa. Even though she made sure that the first farmers were all women, she realizes that she wants to see gender equality and includes male farmers. For her work on this project,

Sarah Mag Toumi et Philippe Barriere in the olive grove of Sarah Mag Toumi Association (Bir Sallah), Image Courtesy © Asma Haddouck – Ibrahim Abbassi (Philippe Barrière Collective)

Sarah Mag Toumi and President Emmanuel Macron at the Palais de l’Élysée, Image Courtesy © Journal Le Monde

She is the only Arab or African woman on the 2016 list of 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs published by Forbes magazine. The project is subsequently called 1milliontre4Tunisia, while Toumi becomes one of thirty winners of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2016 and the first representative of his country to win. It considers that the use of trees to combat desertification is applicable on a global scale.

On August 29, 2017, she was appointed to the Presidential Council for Africa by French President Emmanuel Macron. On November 25, she received the Takreem Prize for Environmental Development and Sustainability in Amman.

Sarah Toumi’s adventure in social entrepreneurship started very early. Sarah has been in the community sector since the age of 11. She worked in Tunisia with her father in the association ACPE, then for the international organization Taking IT Global, before creating the association Dream Of Tunisia which she will be president from 2008 to 2012.

Philippe Barriere, Image Courtesy © Brigitte Messier

Existing condition, Image Courtesy © google map

Sarah Toumi’s goal is to transform her father’s village, Bir Salah, into a sustainable village where every child, every woman, finds a space to flourish culturally socially, economically. She is one of those people who has the vision and leadership to change the world, and the world recognizes her for her commitment to the social and solidarity economy.

The Agora is part of this vision.

About Philippe Barrière Collective (PB+Co)

In the light of environmental crisis and globalization architecture is becoming indispensable as an instrument to reconcile man with his (cultural, social and environmental) milieu, by either reinvesting in this milieu to mitigate the structural deficiencies and/or by fostering its recovery. Taking this view, architecture is an ongoing experiment that constantly adjusts to contextual needs, implementing the new strategic and innovative interventions necessary to improve on man’s milieu; a process that redefines architecture.

Google map of the site, with a high school on the right side and a train track on the left and a cluster of houses on the upper right. Sarah Mag Toumi Center is in white at the center of the image. The Internet cafe is in green., Image Courtesy © Google map – Philippe Barriere Collective (PB+co)

Coffee Shop axonometry, Image Courtesy © Philippe Barrière Collective

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Categories: Cafe, Cultural Center, Educational Center, House, Residential, Restaurant, Workshop

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