Stargazing Platform

Stargazing Platform is a rooftop pavilion that aims to create a safe space for observation and reflection, revitalise the tradition of storytelling and promote social awareness on pollution. Conceived as part of the knowledge-exchange centre El Labana Gardens for the Open Call Egypt, the pavilion got the chance for realisation at the African Crossroads - Seminar organised by Hivos in Marrakech from 11. - 13. December 2019. The prototype focused on the performative discursive techniques touching up a range of topics co-created by the visitors/users....

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The structure was made from steel and woven together using locally spun blue wool.

Students from the ETSAM (Ecole Nationale d'Architecture de Marrakech) weave the structure together. This process was as much social as it was productive

disentangling the wool

This warm immersive space invites you in, holds you close, and together. It invites you to pause, untangle yourself and stay a while. It wants you to look across, around, and up, and still stay present. There is something bigger out there and more than our individual selves. The Stargazing Platform is a warm beautiful experience that held me in, even when I was outside of it.

— Zahira Asmal

Instrumental to the project were the students of the Ecole Nationale d'Architecture de Marrakech

setting at Villa Janna, Marrakech

Pistachio and the tea

I very much enjoyed the installation, as its permeable walls felt both private from within and inclusive from outside. The rooftop setting, closer to the sky and away from the dramas of a hustling and bustling city below, catalysed a pensive mood, within myself that would have otherwise been tough to fabricate in an everyday room. In addition to this, the communal task facilitated a subliminal connection between myself and the other participants, allowing for greater intimacy and openness, in thoughts and conversation.

— Lola Pedro

This was a session on the future of food in Africa, with a guest speaker from Kenya. The wool allowed for an intimate meeting space on the interior, which remained open to spectators outside of the space.

The Stargazing Platform was perched atop a roof in the centre of Marrakech, surrounded by the traditional domes and ventilation structures that make the city so iconic.

Roofscapes of Villa Janna embedded in the landscape, zoom in for Stargazing Platform

Moving the installation to the new location