Architect, Architecture, Driss Kettani, Morocco

You have to find the poetic dimension of architecture, says Moroccan architect Driss Kettani

Fes-born architect Driss Kettani, founder of Casablanca-based Driss Kettani Architecte, says he always tries to find the ‘poetic dimension’ of architecture.

“Architecture doesn’t have to be cold or systematic — it doesn’t have to be like a machine,” he says. “You have to have something poetic, and as the architect you have to find it. But at the same time, architecture needs to be rational and use geometry.”

The Moroccan architect was born in 1978, and spent his childhood in Côte d’Ivoire before returning to his native homeland in the late 1990s. After graduating from the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture in Rabat, he launched his architecture studio in Casablanca.

Today, his projects span various sectors, including education, residential and office. His project, the Ecole Supérieure de Technologie de Guelmim, which was designed in collaboration with his friends and partners Saad El Kabbaj and Mohamed Amine Siana, was shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award, and won the Archmarathon Award in 2015.

“Poetry doesn’t mean that an architect should do strange forms,” he adds. “You can find a way between the rationality, geometry and strength, while also being poetic and communicating something unique.”

An interview on Kettani will be published in the upcoming issue of Middle East Architect, which will review the architect’s use of Arab-Mediterranean culture and aesthetic in his projects.

“I love the Mediterranean,” he says. “I love it. It’s a place you can really feel something special.”

DesignMENA recently completed a case study on the Sofitel Tamuda Bay Resort along the northern coast of Morocco. Read about it here