Base de vie in the red desert

Adrar, Algeria

Base de vie in the red desert
Adrar, Algeria

program: Creation of a city for 1,000 inhabitants in the Algerian desert
total area: 250 000 m2
floor area: 22 400 m2
client: Bonatti spa
Alfonso Femia / Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia with Francesco Nissardi
landscape: Alfonso Femia
images: ©Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia
“Feelings are not opposed to reason but they enrich it guaranteeing a correctness of thought. Through feelings, we set out in search of the place, its history, the different possible ways of living in this specific and unique context; of how to protect it by communicating with nature without going against it but in an attempt to control it and take into account the wonders and beauty of the oasis, the dunes, the buildings.”
The project proposes a “water chain” capable of managing, collecting and channelling the water system in its different uses in order to create a dynamic and optimised system. The depth of the basins and connecting channels will be sized to support the phenomena of evaporation when useful to control the microclimate while, in the sections where this will not be necessary, the system will be designed to reduce waste and minimise maintenance. Furthermore in the spaces where evaporation helps with cooling the environment, the ponds will be sized so as to control the phenomenon and will be protected by pergolas that are a theme of the project. The connecting channels are partly exposed (fissures) and partly “closed”, in such a way as to cool the water that flows there for short stretches.