Maader Experimental Village
Msila, Algeria

Maader was the first shepherd's village to be constructed in southern Algeria as part of the government's programme of reform. The village consists of 120 courtyard houses grouped in a central area, shops, baths, craft stalls, a mosque, and public squares. The three goals of the project were: use and exploitation of local materials; use of local construction technology, and to create an architecture that would be instrumental in the social development of the nomadic society as it begins sedentarisation.

The aims of the project were realised in the following manner:

By adopting a successful system of stabilised mud brick construction;

The use of bearing walls and vaults provided the opportunity to train 10 masons in this inexpensive building technique;

The basic unit of the village was 4 houses grouped around a collective space. The kitchen of each house opens onto the common space, thus permitting the wives of each household to communicate with each other. In addition each individual house is organised around a private courtyard thus maintaining the closed character of traditional family life; and

The composition of the 4-house units permitted the creation of urban spaces that could be used for commerce, meeting places, etc.

The houses are constructed from load-bearing, stabilised mud-brick and rendered in gypsum plaster. All of the houses are barrel vaulted structures.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Msila, Algeria
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Associated Collections
70,000 m²
Building Usages
urban design and development