Fatim Benhamza:
The library never die

Within this residency, the building’s space and functions organization constituted my exploratory foci. I was interested in Andreas Züst residency building, not as an architectural object but more in investigating its internal functional system, individualizing elements like: space structure, social interaction’s rhythms, program and the different function’s relationships.

The entity brought together functions such as a library, a community room, private living spaces, a terrace, and services. While programmatically, it hosts an artistic residency, hotel rooms, public gatherings, workshops…etc. In some periods, all this functions can be operating at the same time. 

Under this situation, processes like “transforming, “merging”, “juxtaposing”, “combining”, “hybridizing” are applied to the Andreas Züst residency’s functions. It was fascinating to experiment and to observe this “hybrid way of living” during my stay. I believe in architectures that have the capacity to change and adapt to different conditions and needs. Temporary architecture and temporary functions allows us to explore unknown territories: I believe that ephemeral goes far beyond the meaning of short duration, it triggers a semantic stratification processes that transform the space into a common place. 

My project the library never die, explores and takes inspiration from all this processes , applied to a different context in Morocco, where usually libraries are monofunctional and non-permeable spaces. 

The project is a peculiar library implemented in a vacant site in Casablanca’s old Medina, in a poor neighborhood. The aim of the library’s existence in this site is to constitute a primary structure to inject other functions (parasitical structure) that the population needs in an never ending transformation.

The result is mobile, unstable, provisional, and dynamic. Strange shapes that open-up uncovering instant squares, temporary structures that get reorganized according to specific needs. Some of these works arise on the same site where others just disappeared, giving birth to chains and creating spaces in progress, evolving, always uncompleted. They are, literally, «provisional constructions», built to supply a specific need and intended to be replaced by something else. At the same time, however, they are «provident constructions», able to see beyond their temporary utility and to imagine the place they occupy after their own disappearance.

Text: Fatim Benhamza
November 2021