The sandy buildings comprising the Guelmim technology school in Morocco look solitary, lonely; they are massive blocks rising from the earth, with thick, repetitive concrete structures to protect people moving across the campus from the sun. It’s difficult to see the campus and not think about science fiction; these buildings would look completely at home on the surface of Mars or on the desert planet Arrakis in the Dune novels.
The project was a collaboration between architects Saad El Kabbaj, Driss Kettani and Mohamed Amine Siana. The buildings have projecting window frames large enough for people to sit inside and canopies which create bands of light and shadow. The architects told Dezeen that the massive buildings are meant to project power and create contrast between interior and exterior space.
They say the buildings are modern, yet are designed to harmonize with their natural surroundings. The goal was to make the buildings assume “a certain theatricality, a certain gravitas that meets the solemnity inherent to educational institutions.” With this in mind, I wish I could look ahead 50 years after the natural environment has had time to age the school a little. Its sober austerity can only increase.
Bill Rodgers is a Contributing Editor at CFile.
Above images: The Guelmim Technology School in Morocco. Photographs by Fernando Guerra.
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