Jean-François Zevaco

Villas en bande, Agadir, 1964

Jean-François Zevaco’s Strip Villas ("Villas en bandes") were erected during the reconstruction of Agadir (Morocco) after the 1960 earthquake. They were part of a residential complex in the city centre, alongside a school and a complex of buildings also built by the architect. In the tradition of the urban experiments undertaken by Michel Ecochard in Casablanca under the French Protectorate, and his 8 x 8 grid (a series of housing units set on 8 x 8 metre plots), Zevaco’s Strip Villas met an urgent need for cheap housing for civil servants. These economic ground-floor dwellings, lit from every direction, illustrated the architect’s regionalist approach, which could be seen in his public constructions. Each dwelling, mingled with ubiquitous vegetation, was flanked by patios on the east and west façades, in order to receive indirect light all day long. The success of Zevaco’s Strip Villas earned him the Aga Khan Prize, which he was awarded in 1980.

Lucy Hofbauer

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