Emergency Climate Architecture

 Located on the former main entrance to the Medina of Marrakech, this exclusive site is located in the Valley of Ourika and at the gates of the Moroccan Atlas.

The Cop22 is a gate between the desert and the city, a bridge linking history and the future.

 The Ark of the Plenary Hall, between minimalism and baroque.

Designed in collaboration with Oualalou+Choi, the Cop22’s ark is at crossroads between light architecture piece of work and monumental installation. It is a pointillist composition;

a work where the base unit, wood timbers, are build systematically to become a coherent system.

Its construction system, similar to stacks of wooden game pieces of Kapla, consists of raw wood blades, both material and constructive architectural project, without any trimming or architectural siding.

The structure is fully composed of raw wooden boards, all identical, 3×4 inches, for a total size of 1970inches long and 590 inches high.

Coming from local forests are sustainably managed, the stacking of these wood blades allows the building of the plenary room to be both concealing and breathable in order to adapt to the extreme climatic conditions of Marrakech.

Thus, the project has a different reading, depending on the distance of observation, distant or close to the building; the mass breaks down to reveal the modular unit.

The different layers of wood create a thickness,  a theatrality both minimalist and baroque created by a succession of solids and voids.

In its center, a monumental arch is drawn by the negative of it’s presence, a contourless materializing and interruptions by the three-dimensional wooden timbers.

This slices creat an a hypnotic frieze that reveals itself  when switching toward the inner part of the room.

Both Ark and Damocles sword, each blade of wood is suspended in time. Each timber is showing both the fragility and the potential power of forces: The scenography highlights the singular unity and the whole, stressing the importance of each of the actions taken by the parties to take concrete action towards environmental disasters.

A very low carbon report.

Finally, in order not to increase the COP22’s carbon footprint, all scenic elements haven’t been produced specifically for this event, and will be temporarily diverted from their regular journey. After the conference, they will be distributed to local associations. For example, tents and blankets serve as agricultural sheeting.

Thanks to the light and flexible wooden structure, the ARK22 will be entirely dismantled to be rebuilt as a pavillon in  Marrakech’s Agdal garden.

  • Status:  Delivered
  • Year: 2016
  • Team: Stéphane Malka Architecture / Oualalou+Choi, GL Events, Agence Publics, Laurent Clément Photographe
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