Widely published in journals of architecture around the world, the great swimming pool of Sidi Harazem is a perfect form- a circle inscribed in a scenic mountain landscape forming a large basin for spring water. A second concrete circle nineteen meters in diameter forms a canopy above the water, resting on a conical concrete pillar. Underneath the canopy, two bars frame the “beaches” around the large and small pools. To integrate the pools into the steep site, Zevaco suspends them above an artificial lake on a platform which contains the changing rooms and a café. Zevaco constructed the artificial lake on existing wetlands which acts as a seventeen meter deep reservoir fed by all of the waterfalls on the site.
The swimming pools have experienced significant alterations from successive rehabilitations and additions undergone by the spa in recent decades. New constructions are spread out along the periphery of the pool site and the original geometric composition has been weakened. New materials and repainted finishes have negatively impacted the pool’s cohesion with the site, landscape, and artificial lake.
In 2017 ACP received support from the Getty Foundation to create a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the Complex, transforming its abandoned buildings into pedagogical and cultural spaces. Using a participatory design approach that brings various stakeholders and the local community into the design process, a new phased masterplan for Sidi Harazem was developed. Phase one of the rehabilitation is currently underway: an adaptive reuse approach that will transform the market and hotel into cultural spaces for locals and visitors alike.
Watch the Thermal Station transform below, from its current condition to Aziza Chaouni Projects’ new masterplan!