Tradition meets design

Ark22 in Marrakesh, Morocco by Stephane Malka

At the latest climate conference, COP22, Stephane Malka and Oualalou+Choi constructed a light wooden structure that became a magnificent installation. Sawn beams measuring 75 x 100 millimetres were loosely stacked to create a structure 15 metres tall and 50 metres wide around the entrance to the old medina in Marrakesh.

Then a high arch was sawn out of the centre, forming a new entrance that, in all its simplicity, reflects ancient traditions and designs. Yet at the same time, it is very much a contemporary structure. From a distance it comes across as a large screen or cover. Only close up does it reveal all its shapes and intricacies, with the spaces in the structure as striking as the wooden beams.

Reflecting the spirit of the climate conference, all the wood comes from local, sustainable forestry in order to minimise the environmental impact. After the summit, all the wood was re-used in other local buildings and structures.


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