Groundbreaking progress on the construction site
Alongside growing interest in the Holcim Awards competition that is currently open for entries – there has been groundbreaking progress at the site of the Global Holcim Awards Gold 2009 winning project in the UNESCO World Heritage listed old town of Fez, Morocco. One of the three precincts of the prize-winning River remediation and urban development scheme is nearing completion.
Last updated: September 21, 2010 Fez, Morocco
Beyond the progress in the “el Rcif Plaza”, as part of the Holcim Awards winning project, Fez is set to benefit from an additional competition for the design of “Place Lalla Yeddouna” which aims to bring a vibrant mixed-use urban hub for the community as well as visitors to the Medina. The competition seeks an urban and architectural design for an area of approximately 7,400sqm including the restoration of some existing buildings and the design of additional new buildings and public spaces.
Global Holcim Awards Gold project moves ahead
Aziza Chaouni and Takako Tajima, Principals of Bureau EAST won the second global Holcim Awards competition in 2009 with a multi-sited, multi-functional project that is centered upon the recovery of the river Fez. Work on restoration triggers a range of interventions in the Medina.
As the project is implemented, water quality in the River Fez has begun to be restored, and the northern part of the river which was previously paved over with concrete slabs has been uncovered. This was an extremely challenging task since the adjacent buildings and their foundations are fragile and several centuries old. The sewage pipelines which previously emptied directly into the river have been diverted.
One of the three precincts of the Award-winning project which will take advantage of vacant sites to reestablish a connection with the city fabric is also nearing completion. The “el-Rcif Plaza” melds the transportation hub and the river bank circulation system and allows for the cleaning of runoff water. The “el-Rcif Plaza” was previously cluttered with buses, taxis and informal parking – but is now a core of the pedestrian network. A larger parking facility has been constructed beyond the southern city walls of the Medina, and buses and taxis have been re-positioned. The next steps including urban furniture, canopies and benches, and rehabilitation of the river banks will mark the completion of the “el-Rcif Plaza” section of the project.
New design competition – Respecting heritage, celebrating the future
The Medina of Fez continues to host new opportunities for sustainable urban development. The Agency of Partnership for Progress (APP), with its implementing partner, the Agency for the Development and Rehabilitation of the city of Fez (ADER-Fès), has announced a competition for the design of a site in the Medina of Fez, Morocco, known as Place Lalla Yeddouna.
The competition is being conducted in the context of an international development program funded by the United States of America, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), in accordance with the Millennium Challenge Compact (the “Compact”) signed on August 31, 2007, between the USA and the Kingdom of Morocco. Registration for the competition remains open until October 15, 2010.
The competition seeks an urban and architectural design for an area of approximately 7,400sqm, including the restoration of some existing buildings and the design of additional new buildings and public space. The competition will be conducted in two phases. An international jury composed of renowned architects and official representatives of the Moroccan and US governments shall select eight participants for phase 2, who receive a fee of 40,000 USD each.