MARRAKESH – The 2016 UN Climate Change Conference has just ended in Morocco. As part of the event, which takes place in a different location around the world each year, a temporary urban village is erected for the duration of the conference where gatherings of people can meet. In a joint venture with between Stephane Malka and Oulalou+Choi – the architect behind the overall tent-like design for the 2016 masterplan – Ark22 forms a gateway entrance to the site of the summit.
The architect’s approach for the installation was inspired by ecological values, as well as local Moroccan handcrafting expertise: ‘Morocco is full of traditional, ancestral skills and we aimed to offer a real valuation of these techniques here.’ Negative space is used at the centre of the gate in the form of a monumental arch that interrupts the repetitive nature of the timber shards at the boundary where architecture meets art.
The construction system consists solely of 75 x 100-mm wooden blocks stacked together without the need for joints or fixings. Consequently, the entire self-supporting structure is easily demountable and reusable. This was a key consideration for the architectural installation based on its short lifespan. ‘Each piece of timber represents the fragility – and the potential power – of forces,’ explains Malka. ‘The scenography highlights both the singular unit and the whole, stressing the importance of each of the actions taken by parties in the fight against environmental disasters.’