Emergency Climate Architecture
Located on the former main entrance to the Medina of Marrakech, this exclusive site is located in the Valley of Ourika and at the gates of the Moroccan Atlas. The Cop22 is a gate between the desert and the city, a bridge linking history and the future.
The Ark of the Plenary Hall, between minimalism and baroque
Created in collaboration with Oualalou+Choi, the Cop22’s ark is at crossroads between light architecture piece of work and monumental installation. It is a pointillist composition; a work where the base unit, wood timbers, are build systematically to become a coherent system.
Its construction system, similar to stacks of wooden game pieces of Kapla, consists of raw wood blades, both material and constructive architectural project, without any trimming or architectural siding. The structure is fully composed of raw wooden boards, all identical, 3×4 inches, for a total size of 1970inches long and 590 inches high. Coming from local forests are sustainably managed, the stacking of these wood blades allows the building of the plenary room to be both concealing and breathable in order to adapt to the extreme climatic conditions of Marrakech.
Thus, the project has a different reading, depending on the distance of observation, distant or close to the building; the mass breaks down to reveal the modular unit. The different layers of wood create a thickness, a theatrality both minimalist and baroque created by a succession of solids and voids. In its center, a monumental arch is drawn by the negative of it’s presence, a contourless materializing and interruptions by the three-dimensional wooden timbers.
This slices creat an a hypnotic frieze that reveals itself when switching toward the inner part of the room. Both Ark and Damocles sword, each blade of wood is suspended in time. Each timber is showing both the fragility and the potential power of forces: The scenography highlights the singular unity and the whole, stressing the importance of each of the actions taken by the parties to take concrete action towards environmental disasters.
A very low carbon report
Finally, in order not to increase the COP22’s carbon footprint, all scenic elements haven’t been produced specifically for this event, and will be temporarily diverted from their regular journey. After the conference, they will be distributed to local associations. For example, tents and blankets serve as agricultural sheeting. Thanks to the light and flexible wooden structure, the ARK22 will be entirely dismantled to be rebuilt as a pavillon in Marrakech’s Agdal garden.
Emergency Climate Architecture
After the COP21 held in Paris last year, the Conference of the Cop22 takes place this year in Marrakech, on the site of Bab Ighli. This international and unavoidable event is organized under the aegis of the UN, and is aiming to solve the various problems related to climate changes. Our architectural and scenic proposal to COP22 was conducted in collaboration with Oualalou+Choi, including the construction of restaurants buildings and the monumental stage design installation of the Plenary Hall.
Before everything, our approach is local ;a perspective of Moroccan handicraft’s expertise, emphasizing ecology in a fundamental way. Indeed, the Morocco is full of traditional ancestral skills, so we aim to offer a real valuation of these techniques here. A kind of reinterpretation that allows to merge all these contemporary sciences in an unexpected way. Restaurants merging with a large Agora. Restaurants are places located outside the tents, a luxurious oasis along with long pools.
The agora stretches perpendicularly to the main axis of the canopy, creating a large place animated by Moroccan craft shops. Framing these places, we designed two symetrical restaurants buildings, economic and ecological architectural entities, built in the rural Moroccan architectural tradition. The buildings are equipped with multiple patios, skylights and terraces. As in the Moroccan tradition, meetings happens in multiple inner patios to preserve freshness and intimacy.
The plan is harmonized according to multiple systems provided with few openings for better thermal insulation, defining a shared interiority between wide public areas and also in smaller places, intimate terraces on the ground level or on the roof, allowing unprecedented views of the surrounding landscape. The structure is done with structural sustainable wood, made from wood chips and shavings, which allows lightness and flexibility in term of construction.
Easy to disassemble, the modules will be dispatched in mobile units after the conference; This mutant Berber Moroccan habitat is a deeply rooted pragmatic vernacular architecture; these constructions allow to reintroduce within the COP22 short circuits, local, experienced in the practice of traditional construction. Source by Stéphane Malka Architecture.