Multiflex space for the NGO Esprit de Fez

This project is a multi-purpose space, dubbed ‘Multiflex’. It opened on June 7th, 2013 during the first day of the Fez World Festival of Sacred Music organized by the Foundation Esprit de Fès (FEF).

Multiflex is the first multi- purpose, NGO run public space of its kind in the Medina of Fès. The project transforms a derelict storage space located in the Dar Tazi historic compound in the Medina of Fès, a UNESCO World Heritage site, into a multipurpose space.

The project is located in FEF’s headquarters, a historic compound called Dar Tazi composed of a beautiful garden and a set of separate traditional buildings that house offices. Given the project’s small budget, we decided to reuse an existing storage room and transform it to fit the project’s needs. Adaptive re-use is one of the most efficient sustainable strategies in architecture since the embodied energy of the building is significantly reduced.

The new building is designed to be flexible in order to house a wide array of programs including a bookstore, cafe, lounge, meetings areas, movie projections, conferences and art exhibitions. We gave the building a sustainable face lift: adding a secondary porous facade to control sun and daylight, and creating small courtyard gardens against the old back facade in order to enable cross ventilation. Also by extending the nearby plaza into the cafe interior through the use of similar clay tiles and by introducing flexible furniture on wheels, spaces became multi-purpose reducing the overall footprint of the building. All furniture and construction were built from local materials by local craftspeople. Other sustainable measures include a green roof which decreases building’s heat gain and is composed of local succulent plants that require little water and can sustain prolonged sun exposure.

Team: Aziza Chaouni, John Bautista, Mani Tabrizi, Johann Petersmann, Bassima Jazouli (ACP)