The riads and dars of the Fez Medina are significant architectural landmarks which contribute greatly to the character and identity of the historic city. Anyone who has restored one will be familiar with the immense amount of work and dedication needed. A new research project will delve into the restoration of traditional houses and how their owners live now.
|The restored courtyard of Dar Bensouda|
When Nick Ormesher first visited Fez in October, as part of a group of architectural students from the University of Manchester, he was so intrigued that he decided to base his research project in the Medina. (See our story on that visit HERE.)
Nick will be returning from January 8 to 12 to do interviews with the owners of riads and dars. His research will look into "the restoration process, the lifestyle enabled by the courtyard house and the identity contained in these cultural landmarks".
"My background is in architectural theory, and in previous research projects I have explored the effects of preservation and restoration on representations of history," he says. "I find Fez a really interesting case study because, although it is a Unesco World Heritage site, a lot of effective work in preserving the heritage of the city is being done privately by people who may not have the same motivation as Unesco.
"I felt this research was, firstly, a good opportunity to explore the idea of heritage at a very personal level, through the home, which is something that really interests me. Secondly, I wanted to explore how the various backgrounds of those involved in the restoration of these houses might contribute to an overriding identity for the Medina."
If you are an owner of a courtyard house in the Medina, and are interested in participating in the research into the restoration of these historic buildings from January 8 to 12 or by phone, please contact Nick Ormesher at the University of Manchester (UK) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07843 388879.