Designtel - Carrière Centrale Housing, Georges Candilis and Shadrach Woods

Carrière Centrale Housing [1953]

Georges Candilis and Shadrach Woods

Like Georges Candilis, Shadrach Woods worked for Le Corbusier on the Unité d’Habitation – despite his lack of architectural experience with a background in engineering and literature. As part of the architect-engineer group Atelier des Bâtisseurs (ATBAT), both Woods and Candilis produced the drawings for the Unité which led to the eventual establishment of an office in Morocco. Post-Second World War Africa was facing issues related to its urban condition, with a need for housing in line with the demands of a more modern time. Accordingly, amongst a group of courtyard houses in Carrière Centrales, a radical new proposition for low-cost, replicable housing was produced – owing much to Le Corbusier’s principles (immediately visible through its facade treatment) transcribed onto a harsher, sparser landscape. The architects studied the amenity provided by the traditional housing typologies in the area and maintained that their proposition would provide similarly, improved by the modern provisions such as enclosed courtyards, filtered light and close proximities without privacy concerns. Greatly morphing over the years to keep up with demands, the Carrière Centrale development is remembered as a bold reinterpretation of the casbah – a super progressive (though not entirely successful) solution to a very real need for something new.

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