Awjila - Libya
Year of completion
National Oil Corporation
Allabina Architecture & Engineering Consultancy
The concept can be described in the following terms:
The principle for the proposal for the street layout is that there is a semi-segregated approach to vehicular streets and pedestrian ‘Alleys’. Vehicles approach the settlement from the exterior and loop in to access the houses and service to the back of the shops. Occasional streets cross the settlement to allow access as required. These streets are limited to 6m in width and can be shared with pedestrians. Contained within ‘blocks’ are pedestrian only alleys sized 2-3m width which in turn stagger. These all access the spine of the settlement which is a covered pedestrian street around which all the public and commercial activities are gathered. This is wide enough for occasional vehicular servicing. Each unit is equipped with its own parking lot used by residents, whilst every unit block has visitor parking lot around the perimeter of the settlement.
2.0 Public Space:
The alleys are the principle public spaces, along with resting and meeting points. Along the main spine, open squares form the gathering spaces around the public buildings. Depending on the precise location of the settlement and its associated local culture, these spaces are to be developed for different uses, e.g. weddings.
3.0 Use Patterns:
The linear arrangement of the settlement allows a simple spine approach. Shops, schools, public buildings, offices, workshops and places of worship are all located out of the central spine, which in turn is flanking by high density housing blocks. The type of the housing becomes denser approaching closer to the centre.
4.0 Green Spaces:
The settlement is bounded by a green filter, a bank of trees to help filter wind born sand, whilst contributing to the cooling of the air through transpiration. This green belt filters into the perimeter vehicle ‘parks’ as shading. The main squares will also be tree shaded.
In developing particular solutions to each new development, the layering of routes, usage and public spaces require clarity in order to develop spaces and places that are easy to navigate - whilst also capturing the character of the place – with meandering routes.