Tonia Tkachenko

INTERZONE | Tangier, Morocco | Unit 21 | 2013

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Performative Flooding of Tangier Interzone

The chosen site exists in tension between the New Port and the Old Medina and offers dramatic panoramic views of Gibraltar and East Tangier Bay. It is an epitome of W.Burroughs “Interzone”, a zone in constant flux of blurred boundaries, reflecting on Tangier’s past as the African gateway to Europe and a melting pot of culture and debauchery. The Old Customs House and the adjoining Old Medina Entrance are a few remnants of the site’s history as a threshold of the city. The project seeks to bridge and connect the Port and Medina through introducing an activity of performance and theatricality alongside establishing an elevated walkway access between the Cruiseship dock and the Medina Entrance. These activities are fluid and connect strongly with the theatricality of Tangier, expressed in the particular way in which the city is observed and experienced as a series of framed panoramic probes.

The landscape is woven back together by merging the gridded nature of the Port and the ornamental of the Medina. The patterning extracted from the domestic setting of the Medina is transformed into the base of the hypertextural flooding landscape and the glistening performance screens that define the auditoriums. This patterned landscape is flooded in a controlled way which does not only breach the boundary condition but defines and alters the site to create spatial opportunities for music and performance. Thus the landscape will provide a space for the expression of Morocco’s long and rich history of musical culture. The site will provide permanent grounds for the two major festivals gaining popularity in Tangier today; Tarab Tangier, and Tanjazz. A formal performance space will rehouse the now derelict Cervantes Theatre, providing Tangier with its first major ¬performance venue in 60 years. By breaching the physical boundary the proposal will also breach the metaphorical boundary between visitor and local. As the tourists will be immersed in a series of probed sensual experiences of Morocco and its artistic heritage, the locals will be provided with a space for celebration, expression and preservation of their culture.

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