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– Integration of low-tech and high-tech approaches: Hand-rammed earth and techniques of rein-
forcement for seismic loads are combined with pre-fabricated earthen parts, which are inte-
grated into the heating, cooling, ventilation systems.
– Raw and pure material strategy for tactile and haptic traits: handmade fired-earth tiles inserted
into walls are shading devices, while also providing erosion control. Designs imprinted in the tiles
by local people are ornamental, yet also create an aesthetic of motion and statics.
– A strong sense of ownership: The first generation of students helps to construct the Center, and
is responsible for the maintenance, which includes repairs with water and mud. Future students
learn how to maintain the center, meanwhile innovating upon sustainable construction
– Outcomes and building performance are in constant evaluation in order to critically push further
– The new center will provide jobs and vocational training to the community of Chwiter as well as
youth from Marrakesh.
– As the future users of the Center will be involved in the construction, they can apply construction
techniques towards improving informal housing in the satellite town.
– The construction of the Center will enhance the local economy, through providing meaningful
and fairly paid labor. The building technology of earth is accessible to people from every eco-
nomic level.
– No fossil-fuel energies are required to source the raw earth, since all the material will come from
the site excavation. Earth as a building material ages well, and repairs are made with mud and
water. The walls can be recycled with the lowest input of energy.
– Solar panels on top of the workshop hall produce 100% of the required energy for the building.
– The building is cooled through passive strategies: supply air is preconditioned in the ground
heat exchanger in the foundations. Air is distributed through the precast, hollow core earthen
elements. Wind catchers transport water-cooled air into courtyards, covered walkways and
– Rainwater collected from all roof areas and courtyards will be recycled into the cooling system,
gardens and production sites.
– Efficient sun shading with fixed blinds prevents high solar heat gains in interior areas. No direct
sun strikes an outside wall or window of a passively cooled area. Motorized blinds regulate light
into the windows above corridors, classrooms and teachers rooms.
– Ventilated roofs with high insulation level (U = 0.17 W/m2K) reduce heat loss in winter.
– Simulations prove that the energy consumption for the building s use is reduced to
19.9 kwh /m
/ annum, through the use of skylights and passive strategies.
– The Center trains workers who will be able to apply to their skills to their own building projects.
– Earth as a material is readily available and is often a waste by-product. Constructing with earth
requires a large amount of human labor, yet doesn t rely on heavy machinery or technocratic
– The Center introduces public space in the satellite town that can be used for community func-
tions, lectures and performances.
– Moroccan archetypes of three scales are articulated into a contemporary context: the old riad
as a microcosm of courtyards and niches, the rural ksar as a compact place of community life
and the urban-scale medersa devoted to the training of students.
– A “South-South” innovation that demonstrates how technology from North Africa can be adapt-
ed to many contexts.
– The Center expands the language of earth: Textures in earth create patterns of light and shadow,
monolithic and staccato rhythms, and rough and polished surfaces.
Training Center Marrakesh, page 2