Environmental Architecture
Located in a Berber hamlet, the Villa Laba project is inspired by the traditional architecture of South Morocco. The style, proportions and choice of materials blend seamlessly with the simplicity of the douar as well as the surrounding landscape of Argan fields and open coastline. Villa Laba’s aesthetic is the result of a genuine environmental commitment and sustainable philosophy, with beauty and ecology as equally important guiding elements.

MaterialsThe architectural plan of the house both adresses and embraces Sidi Kaouki’s powerful natural environment. At the centre is a courtyard from which the rooms lead off in different directions with, to the north, walls protecting from the trade winds and to the west and south, large windows embracing views of the ocean and coastline. Local building materials such as solid limestone walls, rammed earth insulation, lime plaster, cedarwood ceilings and clay tiles - together with a team of skilled local workers, have ensured a low carbon footprint.

EnergySolar energy produces electricity and hot water, and feeds a vast network of underfloor heating in all rooms. The windows are double-glazed and made of solid wood. Combined, these elements offer an exceptional thermal comfort throughout the seasons. At nightfall, candles replace electric lighting. Wifi is confined to a designated internet room, leaving bedrooms free from electromagnetic waves and offering optimal sleeping conditions.

Water and LandscapingFaced with recurring droughts, water management has been optimised. Phyto-purification of wastewater feeds the watering of plants. Rainwater is collected, stored in underground tanks, to be re-used. In respect of the arid environment, Villa Labas landscaping strategy avoids any luxuries and excesses. All existing plants have been protected and integrated into the new design, focusing on local species with low water consumption.

Social EcologyThe Villa Laba team promotes short food supply chains and optimised fresh water and energy usage. Sustainable waste management is one of the bigger challenges of the area and a collaboration with a local start-up for waste recycling has been established. Villa Laba is also in the process of creating a local association promoting education and awareness of environmental issues in the douar. Traditional delicacies such as Argan oil, jams and almond paste Amlou, will be on sale in the hotel shop, with all profits going to the local women who make them.