© Frank Stabel

From the architect. The preschool of Aknaibich is only 1 classroom, nevertheless a holistic architectural design, incorporating community dynamics, bioclimatics and a new vernacular style.

© Frank Stabel

Aknaibich is a town in transition: the eastern old town is made of earthen constructions, sinusoid roads and narrow alleys, while the western part exists of modern, plot-based concrete houses built by rural-urban emigrants. In need of educational infrastructure, Goodplanet foundation presided by French photograher Yann-Arthus Bertrand aims to install a preschool with bioclimatic functioning, as an extension to the existing concrete school building in the modern part of town.


After a workshop with the Aknaibich community, it was seen fit to be inspired by the old town, and hence to create a dialogue with the existing modern school infrastructure. It’s style could be called a new vernacular, inspired on local typologies, materials and techniques, while at the same time having a contemporary look, performant bio-climatic functioning and earthquake proof design.

© Kristel Pelliet

The preschool of Aknaibich has traditionally inclined foundations of locally sourced nature stone, with adobe walls, a wood-and-earth flat roof and rammed earth enclosure walls. The exterior finishing is done with a “tamelass” render, a mix of 2 earths, straw and sand, while the interior finishing is made of polished “nouss-nouss”, a “half-half” of earth and gypsum to create a breathable interior plaster which diffuses indirect sunlight.

Floor Plan

The east and west façades which have harsh low-sun impacts are doubled-up with a cavity wall for insulation, while the south façade has deep, small windows and a big thermal mass, making the building cool during the day, but warmer through the night until the morning. The north façade has been maximally opened up with glass doors to allow indirect sunlight to enter the room.

© Frank Stabel

The classroom links to the playground just outside, which can be read as the playground for the smaller ones (3-6 years) as opposed to the bigger courtyard serving the rest of the school students. This playground has a pergola with playing and sitting infrastructure, which can be used as an external classroom for storytelling and other activities.

© Frank Stabel

As a site implementation, the preschool borders the school plot, hence defining the site without the explicit use of compound walls. It is neatly located in between three existing argan trees, which are important to preserve in the quite deforestated new part of town. By following the grid-like layout of the existing school rooms, the Preschool of Aknaibich creates an interesting juxtaposition of the ‘new vernacular’ next to the ‘existing modern’, maybe inspiring the way forward for future constructions within the community of Aknaibich.

  • Architects: BC architects , MAMOTH
  • Location: Arabic Language Institute in Fez, 2 Ahmed Hiba Street, Fes 30000, Morocco
  • Area: 55.0 sqm
  • Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Frank Stabel, Thomas Joos, Kristel Pelliet, Nicolas Coeckelberghs
  • Local Material Consultancy: BC studies, MAMOTH
  • Community Participation And Organisation: BC studies, MAMOTH and the foundation Goodplanet
  • Collaborators: Frank Stabel, Thomas Joos, Alina Negru, Carole Fournier and Elisabetta Carnevale
  • Financial Support: Private funds managed by the foundation GoodplanetBudget: 25 000 €


Source : archdaily.com



Fondateur et concepteur du Portail de l'Architecture au Maroc ArchiF.info Après 10 années passées dans les terres nord-américaines, Mehdi a été émerveillé par le travail bénévole des Occidentaux pour aider leurs concitoyens. Cette qualité humaine mélangée avec des connaissances qu’il a acquises dans le domaine de l'architecture et de la conception des sites web ont fait que le site est mis aujourd’hui à la disposition des communautés étudiantes et professionnelles en architecture.
Mehdi Magroud
Maitrise en architecture || Montréal - Canada -