Hotel Les Gorges du Dadès
Boumalne Dades, Morocco

The project was initiated by the Moroccan government in response to a need for hotel accommodations in the valleys east of the High Atlas Mountains. The hotel in Boumaine was designed to serve a policy of mass tourism rather than to accommodate individuals spending several days or weeks in the same place. It was to be one of a string of way houses for tourists In addition to a spectacular landscape, the region possesses a rich indigenous architectural tradition in the form of Berber mud-brick dwellings. The architects wished to acknowledge the existence of this indigenous tradition through the use of comparable forms, textures and colours. The hotel comprises: 100 double rooms, a lobby and a lounge, a restaurant, a bar, a games room, a swimming pool, and a flat for the director.

The project was conceived as a hotel for tourists of average means and thus to meet modest standards. All rooms conform to the same plan-type comprised of entry, built-in-closet space, toilet and shower, and terrace. These units have been arranged around a central courtyard with swimming pool. Along the western perimeter of the hotel, the units tend (with the exception of a couple of rooms) to be situated below the courtyard level, thereby allowing a spectacular panoramic view of the village and oued (river valley), with mountains beyond. The massing is staggered, usually by pairs of rooms, taking great advantage of the steep slope toward the village. Furthermore, it provides a degree of privacy for the individual terraces. The entrance, public spaces, lounges, dining rooms and a shop have been placed on the eastern edges. The restaurant and bar are one floor above the entrance and have direct access to the patio and pool.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Boumalne Dades, Morocco
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Ground floor area: 5,000 m²; total site area: 45,000 m²
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urban design and development