Rehabilitation of Asilah - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Rehabilitation of Asilah

Rehabilitation of Asilah
Location: Asilah, Morocco (North Africa)
Architect: Al-Mouhit Cultural Association / Mohammed Benassa and Mohammed Melehi
Client: Local Population and Asilah Municipality
Completed: 1978
Site size: 90'000 m

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Rehabilitation of Asilah Project Brief

Asilah is an ancient coastal town founded in Phoenician times. Its defensive walls were built in the medieval period when it was a Portuguese trading post. Today it is a harbour, a market, a centre for cultural events and a summer resort. Protection of Asilah's architectural heritage began over 15 years ago with the efforts of the two founding patrons of the cultural association, and other interested intellectuals. The works they have restored and rehabilitated include the Portuguese fortifications and an early 20th-century palace. They relocated commercial facilities to the foot of the fortifications and introduced decorative pavings and murals by local artists. The patrons continue to guide and aid the improvement of the water and sewerage systems, as well as the maintenance of houses, public buildings and mosques. The jury notes that from a modest start but with ambitious vision, a few native sons of Asilah took it upon themselves to upgrade the physical and cultural environment of their town. With perseverance and skill, they managed to raise the consciousness and mobilise the people of Asilah to implement this vision.

1989 Award Recipients