University of Constantine
La bibliothèque Universitaire Centrale, Constantine, Algeria, Algeria

The University of Constantine was the first Algerian university built after the country won its independence from colonial rule. The new national government saw the establishment of the university as crucial to creating a modern image of the country, and that the design of the campus should reflect that. The project was entrusted to the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer who wanted to gather the teaching of different disciplines in the same space. He believed that the University of Constantine should not only produce graduates trained in their respective fields but that it should also train the technocrats and teachers that would be required by the developing education and industrial sectors in Algeria.


The project consists of 9 buildings, including 2 teaching buildings, a laboratory building, a 21-story administrative tower, library, restaurant, residence, and sports complex. These buildings are organized around an esplanade, with the architecture of the buildings representing tools of knowledge transmission of production. For example, the auditorium represents an open book and the teaching building represents a pen-box. The esplanade also contains several circular water basins representing inkpots, and a concrete post symbolizing a fountain pen or pencil.

Further Reading:

Oddy, Jason, and Samia Henni. 2019. Revolution Will Be Stopped Halfway. New York: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

La bibliothèque Universitaire Centrale, Constantine, Algeria, Algeria
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Associated Names
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Variant Names
University of Constantine
Université Mentouri
Université Constantine 1
Building Usages
curtain walls