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Abitare l’emergenza L’esperienza maghrebina di Roland Simounet


Between 1951 and 1962, the young Roland Simounet has accomplished his architectural training in his native Algeria. The most significant part of the works carried out during those years concerns temporary housing, among which stands out the experience of metric survey and description of the slum Mahieddine (Algiers), developed with the group CIAM Alger in order to participate to the ninth CIAM. Through these projects, R. Simounet has developed an architectural design approach that regards housing as a cultural act and no more as a function. This places him among the authors of a new architectural scenario, where the translations of dogmatic precepts of the Modern Movement were gradually overcome, and in which originated themes and objectives that the Western European architecture has developed during the following fifteen years. By repeatedly addressing temporary housing, Roland Simounet has elaborated a systematic approach to a sort of zero degree architecture, solved by defining devices and architectural figures that frequently reappear in later works by the same author. This condition validates the hypothesis that temporary housing can be considered a laboratory for architecture.