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Archiprix 2020
for the Women of Bousbir

A Threshold of Evanescence

Me as Her
Rebekah Tien
This project is part of Archiprix 2020

This project is an intervention of two buildings and a gate along the route from the walled-off red light district of Bousbir (1924-1955) to its external medical dispensary, re-introducing temporality and sense of individuality through Light, Walls, and Openings to the working women within.

Bousbir Quartier Réservé was a highly regulated, completely walled-off red light district built to satisfy the sexual needs of European men, and was a solution to the STI problem caused by colonial prostitution during the French Protectorate in Casablanca. It was a projection of a far-east fantasy, an erotic theme park. Yet, for the working women within, it was a perpetual prison- where time seemed to loop, and their individuality stripped- resembling the social order of the religious dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale by Atwood; and was in a sense, Casablanca in miniature.

This project is an intervention of two buildings and a gate along the route from the walled-off district to the external medical dispensary, Converting the women’s weekly route for the mandatory STI inspection into an extra-thick threshold between the two realities. The project challenges the role of Light, Wall and Opening in Bousbir and works with these modest tools in (re)introducing “temporality” and the sense of “individuality” to the women of Bousbir.

This project is also an architectural representation of the author's self-exploratory process of leaving an extremely religious and sheltered background.