Place Lalla Yeddouna Medina

Fez, Morocco

 

The neighbourhood of Place Lalla Yeddouna is one of the most ancient squares of the old Medina of Fez: a centre for artisans, tanners, copper and brass blacksmiths. For centuries, this crossroad has been one of the key links between the two major districts of old Fez.  We proposed a series of delicate, incremental and sensual shifts to help recognize the place again; keeping intact the public space of Place Lalla Yeddouna at it’s centre, then reinstating existing walls, rooms, levels and gardens and amplifying connections. Two key levels and links across the site are established; that of Place Lalla Yeddouna and that of the Fez River, snaking its way through the Medina in a north-south direction. We proposed a series of interventions that connect these two areas together, binding old with new. Our approach to this project was based on two related strategies: to build upon the existing topographic characteristics of the site, furrowing and striating the ground across and down through the pivotal spaces (both internal and external); and to direct and control circulation (both within and adjacent to existing and new structures). These two strategies are combined with a sequence of richly scented and varied gardens, a desire to minimize adjustments to the existing shells of significant heritage buildings, and the insertion of simple but deft new interventions; befitting the humility, character and potential beauty of the area.

 

Fez Urban Competiton Medina of Fez Location Plan Fez Axonometric Plan detail

Credits

Architect
Stephen Collier

Collaborators
Chun Suk Suh
Justin Holly
Christen Meli
Andrew Southwood-Jones
Celeste Raanoja

Consultant Team
Sue Barnsley Design
Mott MacDonald