Mars 2020

The Lake Factory #2

Quartier El Oulfa



Go to : The Lake factory#1

The Lake Factory is a project carried out as part of an artistic invitation from the French Institute of Casablanca, which took place in the El Oulfa neighbourhood from 2019 to 2020 around two editions.

El Oulfa is a mainly residential neighbourhood on the outskirts of Casablanca.
 The Al Firdaous square and the El Oufa lake are two major public spaces in the district, but their state of degradation strongly restricts their daily appropriation by the inhabitants.

The lake, a real unsuspected oasis in the heart of the city, is a former quarry transformed into a retention basin. Urbanisation has gradually surrounded it without integrating it into the district. Only a pedestrian path along the banks has been created and developed. Unfortunately, this nugget of nature is very polluted.

The square, a real urban centre with the false air of an Italian-style square, was equipped with numerous benches, which were very dilapidated. Far from being neglected, it is a lively and active crossroads, where people meet, children play and street vendors set up shop.

We propose to intervene in the form of a collective urban factory residency, the objective of which is to modestly engage in the concrete and symbolic reclaiming of these spaces, through an in situ action. This residency aims to create a collective and positive dynamic among the inhabitants and to make the public authorities aware of the interest and urgency of acting on these spaces, in particular on the lake.

In March 2020, considering the first experience of the Lake Factory#1 and in particular the viewpoint of the students of the workshop, we put the lake at the heart of this second edition. Inhabited by the idea that this lake could become a real master landscape piece on the scale of the district and the city, we are once again installing a workshop, this time as close to the lake as possible. A workshop in the heart of the public space, of the neighbourhood, an open and ephemeral place of collective design and manufacture of wooden furniture. Continuing the intense collective story begun in 2019, we are setting up the same device of instant collective creation, without plans, to equip the lake’s surroundings with structures, day by day, according to the needs of the inhabitants and the constraints of the land. The objective is to propose places of appropriation around the lake in order to encourage the reclaiming of the lake, to reveal and enhance the potential of its surroundings and to propose a different view of this neglected piece of landscape.

A student workshop has also been set up, bringing together students from the Bordeaux School of Architecture and the Casablanca School of Fine Arts to design and experiment with mediation tools on the future of the lake. An ecological fable “Zahra and the lake monster” was created, a complete tool intended to feed a mediation protocol (tale, games, guided thematic walks) that could be implemented later on site by local actors.

The exceptional conditions experienced worldwide at that time, due to the spread of covid-19, forced us to abort our production in the public space and to give another twist to this second edition of the Fabrique du lac. After four days on site, our workshop was relocated to the courtyard of the French Institute and we had to adapt our intervention to the changing situation. As our strike force to equip the lake could not be fully deployed, we decided to transform this constraint into an opportunity and to take advantage of the presence of our workshop in the courtyard to meet the needs of the users of this place. With the will to continue the Fabrique du lac and motivated by the energy and enthusiasm felt during our 4 days of action in situ, we continued the fabrication of a maximum of structures to equip the surroundings of the lake. Structures that can be transported by several people, which we then put down on the edges of the lake to propose places of appropriation to the inhabitants and begin the re-conquest of the lake.


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At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.