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Discovering Morocco

Ivan Lunev

Light can be considered as a fairly unique medium for an architect. When used correctly, one can define both exterior and interior spaces in an extraordinarily pleasing way.

Architecture, as well as life in general, has been developing for ages and centuries, defining different features, which now help us distinguish types of buildings. Thus the architect has to acknowledge the main purpose of each of them to be able to create certain lighting exterior and interior-wise.

By studying this topic, we were exposed to various theater designs. Their most prominent feature has to be the stage- a space, which attracts and invites the light. Terrifying battles, engaging dramas, comedies, involving people’s lives-no matter how different those genres are, the right lighting setup can tie them together in a single story if needed. To create expressive scenes an architect might use different techniques in terms of light ,however the main goal here is to accentuate the centrical space as if there is one and only source of gravity-the stage.

The roles of the light in residential buildings are like night and day compared to those we spoke about earlier. Here it has a practical role, as a servant to people in their day-to-day lives. Logically, this might make one’s life pretty bland. The residents do not have anything to enjoy about the house, that leads to loss of interest in keeping their lives going in that building specifically. That is why we took that aspect into consideration and designed our hotel.

Structural-wise the lit up spaces in the hotel were based off this theatrical lighting. The central space is accented by rays of sunlight through a circular skylight.

Smooth rounded shape of the building is not just an aesthetic feature. If we pay attention to the rooms’ windows, curved glass, which goes past the wall and all the way to the roof ,could be seen. This allows the light to pierce through greater surface and light up the interior spaces for longer time. In addition, each window is paired up with sturdy roll-up shutters and a remote controller for easy exploitation. By using modern technologies the shutters are made of 2 special layers: the first layer prevents the sun rays from passing inside, the second one is able to create comfortable room temperature on a hot sunny day as well as allow partial solar insulation.

The structure of a theater had us thinking of the planar shape in general. In combination with the knowledge of antique architecture it was pretty obvious to use a circle with its central lit up scheme.

Storeys also have a meaning here. The ground floor consists of a restaurant with a tiny stage and serves as a divider, which separates the stage and the audience. Just as in a theater, even though the presence of a mystical sense is clearly noticeable, this space is still able to keep those comfortable conditions for the guests.

A stage could be deciphered in the second floor. Each guest subconsciously takes part in the play. As soon as one leaves their room they become an actor under the rays of light from the curved room window. Here people unite with the hotel and emphasize the role of sunlight in architecture.

As for the site, it was wise to place the hotel somewhere with good and consistent weather conditions. Marrakesh and it’s area were chosen univocally to keep that quiet and peaceful atmosphere around the hotel. Because several major roads lead to the building, it is not challenging to access. Historical monuments could be seen throughout the area.

The facade silhouette helps the building blend in with Morocco’s deserted area. The design itself was heavily inspired by the surrounding majestic sand-dunes, which associate with sleek and natural shapes.

Serving as a binding element of the whole composition, the entry of the hotel connects the main road with the building.

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