Award Cycle:Status:RecipientLocation:Sousse, TunisiaClient:Consortium Tuniso-Kow‰Û÷itien de D_veloppementArchitect:Serge Santelli, Cabinet GerauSize:33'000 m²Completed:1981
Traditional Tunisian domestic architecture consists of one- or two-level houses arranged around courtyards or patios. To achieve a contemporary expression of these indigenous arrangements for this hotel, the architect created an ordered series of symmetrical interior courtyards connected along a main longitudinal axis, from which secondary axes open. The hotel courtyards are paved, and are entered by two or four porticoes. All are simply ornamented by delicate ceramic decoration in the form of banding and panels. The innermost courtyards, some of them planted with orange trees or jasmine, have the intimate quality of private gardens. Water is the most important element. As in all the great Arabo-Islamic landscapes, it fills pools, runs off through little channels and jets forth in fountains under pergolas. Covered walkways and galleries offer shade. The jury found particularly praiseworthy the restraint with which materials and forms have been used, and the subdued nature of the colour scheme which enable this group of buildings to achieve its imagery whilst avoiding pastiche.