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Fez Gardens and Regeneration of Wadi Boukareb (Pearl River)

Part 1 Project 2012
Fergus Knox
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), UK

This proposal is a hitherto new typology for the Medina of Fes – a public park providing greenery, substantial open space and a controlled and safe arena for the integration of traditional industry with urban life. The approach of this project combines detailed technical investigation with an acute consideration for simple daily interactions. The interplay of public and private space proposed gives a suggestion as to how the proximity of artisan industry to daily life in the Medina could be maintained, and is a riposte to the UNESCO backed plan to relocate much of this activity to a suburban industrial park.
The pre-existing unsanitary and toxic conditions on the site are dealt with through large scale technological interventions and through the careful management of program adjacencies and the detailed design of street furniture. Crafts and their associated processes are celebrated amongst the landscape and allowed to penetrate into the wider urban context.

The park is intended as a catalyst for the regeneration at of the heart of the Medina. It is to be one of few planned public amenities with streets and shop frontages exposed onto open-air territories previously walled off and hidden from view. Its pervasive influence extends beyond the site’s immediate limits with storm water run-off feeding the system via a network of gullies cut from the narrow streets of the Medina.

Nestling amongst the landscape a series of utility buildings including the headworks; hydro-gas powerplant and chromium works, are integrated into the wider park experience. Set against a spine of reed beds, cascading along the valley’s floor, suspended clarifier vessels pour vegetation onto the streets below.

The material palette couple the local vernacular architecture and artisan industries, including brass-polishing fountains sitting adjacent to multi-coloured chromium discharge pools, reflecting the iconic tanneries of Fes.

In all the architecture is intended to reconcile the technical aspects of municipal and industrial water treatment with the demands of the UNESCO site and the pressing need for a safe an uncontaminated public domain.

Fergus Knox


Mr Rhys Cannon
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