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Exploring Invisible Architecture: Morocco's Answer to the High Line

Sometimes the most interesting explorations can be found through “invisible architecture”—the antithesis of "starchitecture."


Sometimes the most interesting explorations can be found through what I call “invisible architecture” or the discovery of what exists in the city but was once hidden to the naked eye. We’ve seen people discovering the formerly “invisible” in recent projects like the High Line in New York, which was always there, in a sense, but was just waiting to be discovered. At the same time, another invisible architecture project emerged, but in Fez, Morocco, and it calls upon visitors to look down and around rather than up and out.

The Fez River Project, spearheaded by award-winning architect Aziza Chaouni and her Bureau of Ecological Architecture & Systems of Tomorrow (Bureau EAST, now Aziza Chaouni Projects), revitalized the city by restoring and uncovering the Fez River, which runs through its center. Although the dense and labyrinthine medina of Fez has been a Unesco Heritage Site since 1981, the river was hidden under concrete until Chaouni’s project was unveiled (literally!) in 2008.

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