Chwiter Sustainable Design Education Center

The new town of Chwiter is located nine kilometers to the north of Marrakech on route RN15 that connects Marrakech to Ouarzazate. The aim of the Training and Teaching Center for Sustainable Development Professionals is to provide exposure to the burgeoning sustainable construction industry in Morocco.

The architectural expression was borne out of the aim to create a facility that would be in and of itself a tool for educating the public about sustainable design and construction. Traditional rammed earth construction capable of retarding the transfer of heat and solar chimneys for inducing natural ventilation through what is termed the “stack effect” define the outward appearance of the project. Simple rectilinear volumes are organized to define courtyards of varying size, proportion, and function. In addition to providing open space, the courtyards are equipped to collect solar energy, provide cool air intake for interior spaces, and clean graywater. An iconic tensile structure visible from route RN15 not only gives identity to the project but also encourages natural ventilation through the most public of the courtyards on sunny days and serves as a funnel for collecting rainwater during storm events. Composting toilets reduce water needs on-site while producing useful compost. Kitchen gardens, photovoltaic cells, and dew collection on rooftops maximize the productivity of the site while extensive green roofs reduce energy loads through increased insulation and evapotranspiration.


Team: Aziza Chaouni, Zineb Alaoui, Andrés Bautista, Aziza Chaouni, Sarah Essbai, Bassima Jazouli, Carolyn Matsumoto, Hala Ouazzani, Takako Tajima, Meya Tazi (Bureau E.A.S.T) | Omar Essakalli Architecte|  Bright 3D| Fletcher Studio| Nenad Katic| Team Maroc| Thornton Tomasetti| Transsolar