Algerian children learn about traditional architecture

Twenty-eight boys and girls aged 7 to 15 have made cardboard scale models of traditional houses reproducing the features of traditional architecture of Kasbahs, as part of a workshop organised by the EU-funded project Montada on traditional architecture for the youngest on 18 December in the Algerian town of Dellys.
A press release said the activity developed around the riads in the traditional architecture of the town’s casbah. A house with a riad is a significant typology in traditional architecture, and it has links with nasride architecture. This structure is defined as an open space on the front or rear side of the house, surrounded by walls, in which was located a flower and vegetable garden, which combined the floors, fountains and jasmine as well as fruit trees such as orange or lemon. The riad is also found in the majority of the Cármenes of the Granada Albaycin.
These elements are not dominant in most of Dellys’ Kasbah, but they are significant for the history of the town and knowledge of the process of its occupation.  Dellys has housed many families who fled Andalusia Granada in the fifteenth century, after the fall of the city and its surroundings to the Castilian-Aragonese crown. These families, most influential, have left their imprint that goes beyond the physical embodiments as some of the houses, with the riad kasbah of Dellys. The uniqueness of this element is precisely what led to choose as the singular object of the workshop.
The children participating in the workshop also worked on garden space. The result of the workshop exceeded targets and participants were able to build five models accurately in terms of assembling, with some precision regarding the incorporation of elements of the riad and with great imagination in the choice of used materials and finishing. Curiously, only one out of the five scale models included a palm tree in the garden space, a reiterative element in the gardens of Granada. However, obviously, along the Algerian coast, the palm is an element that was brought in during the French occupation.
Funded by the EU under the EuroMed Heritage IV programme with a budget of €1.8 million over a period of three years, Montada, which is implemented in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, aims to promote traditional built heritage by strengthening its identity through appropriation by the population. EuroMed Heritage IV is a €17 million EU-funded programme which contributes to the exchange of experiences on cultural heritage, creates networks and promotes cooperation with the Mediterranean Partner Countries. (ENPI Info Centre)
Press release (FR)
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