...........................ELecTrOciTy ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................


 

Fact sheet

PROJECT :
Hotel & urban development

PROGRAM :
150 hotel rooms// Cultural and leisure activities //

SITE :
Cap Gammarth
Tunis // Tunisia

PARTNERS :
ENAU

STATUS :
Study

 

CLIENT :
N/A

 

SIZE : 140 000m²

 

TEAM :
Benjamin Beller, Florent Souly, Roman Meyer

 
COLLABORATORS :
Fiona Meadows, Yann Nussaume, Mongie Hammami
 

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Cap Gammarth, a long natural strip running along the Tunisian Mediterranean coast is doomed to be urbanized. Tunis nearby fast growth and its touristic potential make it a highly valuable land. We were asked to propose a strategy for future developments on a 3km2 area and to design a concept hotel on one of the site sloping down toward the see.

Our project tries to reassess the current nature of tourism and its built outcomes colonizing the coast. Instead of taking a natural preservation stand, we promulgated a kind of counter proposal assuming metropolitan development, advocating high density urban space and invoking an alternative form of tourism based on global electronic culture : Electrocity.

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:: Artificial natural redistribution ::
Although still natural, the whole area is under huge urban pressure and is compelled to change in the next ten years. Alongside the see shore,the future developments will unmistakably orient themselves toward the water while probably erasing the other existing landscape features. To counteract this mono-orientated phenomenon, we proposed to dismantle the current landscape's hierarchy (water, sand, littoral vegetation, forest) and redistribute fragments of the 4 existing conditions all over the territory. In the new condition, delimitated strips of sand or water cross the forest, forest piers float on the see, littoral bushes settle on the beach, etc… The spreading strategy raises the "value" of inlands for the future developments to adopt diversity and multi-orientation patterns. The landscape strips are protected "natural" areas that the urban growth cannot alter or destroy, the new land regulations, the new rules that the development has to follow.

:: Electro-tourism ::
Tunisia is well known for its beautiful beaches, great food, Medinas, troglodytes, picturesque dunes deserts with Camels and nomads. Tourist agencies keep selling the postcard exotic image expected by their clients without even acknowledging the countries transformation and modernization. In reaction, Electrocity takes a completely reversed approach by proposing to set Cap Gammarth as the Mecca of electro and cybernetic global cultures. Contradicting the consensus on touristic stereotypes is not a simple provocation but a proposal for diversifying offer, welcoming new types of culture and founding a regional or national high tech equipment shared by both tourists and Tunisians.


:: Electrocity ::
A hyper compact and complex entity is superimposed on the entire site. Under the concept of Tunisia 2.0, all the activities are devoted to electro-cyber cultures. The electro(architecto)nic chip is fragmented into districts housing complementary functions for knowledge sharing, networking, entertainment, diffusion, etc… A huge database concentrates, safeguard and diffuse information, a cyber market proposes all the latest electronic products; a moving images palace is devoted to animations, cinema, digital art, web streams ; a neon light district filled with clubs, bars, virtual reality parlors, cybersex brothels, permits all kind of excesses, etc… Altogether, Electrocity is a place where electro-tourists and electro-tunisian sustain a community and its cyber-ritual.


:: Plugins ::
The Electrocity is a two fold development. Accommodation (hotel) and activities are based on two different urban structures combined together with a plugin system. The activities layer was generated by entirely filling the site and then cutting out voids and connections in the mass according to topography and the landscape strips layout. The hotel on the other hand was based on a generic grid of 10x10m blocks overaid on-site. Each module of the network contained accommodations designed by as many architects as there were blocks. The footprints of the hotel modules were excavated from the lower activities layer to form courtyards and light wells. The hotel block would "sit" at various heights within or on top of the courtyards according to the connectivity requirements between the two programs.



Watch the Electro-tourist's journey- Tunis 2005