Tizyane Community Design Project
Drawings, plans, elevations
The beautiful Azzaden Valley, in the Atlas Mountains, is the home of the Amazigh. In each village along the slopes, rammed earth houses cluster around the minaret of a pink mosque. Tizyane is one such village. Tizyane has electricity, mostly for lighting in the homes.Due to the altitude, they receive a considerable amount of snow and experience quite extreme temperatures. Ice-melt from the snow-capped mountains supplies spring water. As in most of the villages, the inhabitants of Tizyane have built reservoirs on the slopes above their houses, near the springs. From the reservoir, water is piped and gravity-fed into about 75% of the homes. In Moroccan culture, people go to hammam or bathhouse once or twice a week. Afterwards, people sip tea and catch up on the latest goings-on. The Hamman, is perhaps, almost as important a communal space as the mosque. Tizyane villagers have no hot water or indoor heating, therefore, bathing during the winter months is challenging. While bathing can occur at home in the warmer months, this becomes more challenging in colder months, leading to potential health problems, especially for children. Working with a non-governmental organization called Corps Africa, the people of Tizyane decided to design and construct a “zero-waste” community bathhouse. The idea was to address their need for a hammam while attempting to lower their ecological footprint. As the conversation for this project evolved, the women of Tizyane also requested ideas for a laundry and women's gathering space. Research into appropriate techniques for achieving the stated needs of the inhabitants of Tizyane has focused on the use of readily sourced materials and local knowledge. The design drawings must be visually based, requiring few words to be understood. The first part of the implementation stage is for the locals to build a test rocket stove that will be used to heat one home in the village. The second part will involve the construction of the laundry and gathering space for the women. The third part is the construction of the hammam. The test stove will be monitored and provide a template for possible adoption across the village. It is hoped that eventually, the rocket stove will provide a way to heat all the homes, and provide supplemental heat for the laundry water as well as for the hammam. If the plan is successful in Tizyane, it may be adopted by other villages in the valley.