Urban Design and Landscape

À la reconquête du littoral de Sfax Un centre polyfonctionnel de loisirs et de bien-être à l’ancienne plage “ Casino”

International School of Architecture -ISA- Sfax

Project idea

Through the history of Sfax, the sea constitutes
a source of wealth and prosperity for the
region. It is a place of meeting, of exchange,
commercial and swimming activities for
Sfaxians who kept a strong relationship with the
Wed. However, the urban development of
Sfax was built by turning its back on the sea to
a multitude of reasons, which has led to a
break between the city and its coastline.

The beaches have become landfills
open, with the industrialization of the coasts, occupied
peated by all kinds of factories, which release
pollutants harmful to the environment which
is not conducive to human activity.

Recently, we have observed a desire for re-
conquest of the coastline by citizens previously
monopolized by industries, reappropriating the
memory of the sea.

Indeed, civil society has made initiatives
to redevelop the Casino beach which keeps a
striking image in the collective memory of
Sfaxians. But these interventions always remain
lacking in terms of accessibility,
planned arrangements and equipment.

the project objective is to reconcile the city with its coastline and reestablish the link that existed between Sfaxien and the sea, we considered a proposal for the redevelopment of the area of the old beaches of the city center of Sfax, known as Le Casino
The choice of the site was made for several reasons:
- The site has strong potential with a strategic location near the city center, between the historic core of the colonial city and its future extension (Taparura) with a wide opening onto the sea.
- The site presents a strong symbolic asset for Sfaxians since it is considered a place full of memory for society, which promotes easy appropriation of the place by citizens.
- The site is the subject of strong popular demand illustrated by the commitment of civil society as well as local authorities to redevelop it as a place of relaxation, meeting and sociability.
The intervention on the site is part of the continuity of the efforts led by civil society and the municipality of Sfax aimed at reconquering these ancient beaches and opening the city to its coastline. Therefore, our proposal is based on the following points:
1- Reconnection of the city with the coastline
​Reconnecting the city with its coast by facilitating access to the beach and creating breakthroughs towards the coastline in order to redevelop the Sfax waterfront
2-The creation of an attractive center
The creation of an attractive center by the sea capable of beautifying and reviving the city center of Sfax and particularly its waterfront.
The attractiveness of this sector of the city will be implemented through a multitude of activities. (Walking, swimming, meetings, aquatic and other leisure activities, relaxation and sociability areas, well-being area, etc.).
3-Bringing the past to life
The sea in the collective memory of Sfax. Return to the beach and reconnect with coastal activities.
4-City entertainment
Meet the needs of Sfax residents today by introducing new activities to make the beach more attractive.
5-Connection of Sfaxi citizen with the sea
The reconnection of the citizen with the sea by reconnecting with activities at the seaside which revive the spirit of the place steeped in history strongly present in the collective imagination of Sfaxians.

Project description

The intervention on the site is part of the continuity of the efforts led by civil society and the municipality of Sfax aimed at reconquering these ancient beaches and opening the city to its coastline. Therefore, our proposal is based on the following points:
-The abandoned public space on the beach side will be redeveloped to become one of the preferred public access points to the beach for Sfax residents.
-Visitors will benefit from a place by the sea to rest, offering stunning views of the harbour.
-The project offers activities for visitors of all ages (children, young people, adults, old people, etc.), walks along the waterfront, meeting spaces, services and leisure activities, etc.
-This project encourages walking and puts the pedestrian at the heart of public space. This changes from the Sfax urban landscape dominated by cars and motorbikes, and can promote a more virtuous mode of travel for the environment and health.
Genesis of the project
1-Strengthen the main axis of entry
- The site is accessible by a second entrance from the Taparura project.
- Create an esplanade, urban atmospheres, cycle paths and pedestrian access
-Redevelopment of the fringe next to Taparura.
2- 300 m of cornicHe developed by the municipality of Sfax by civil society and the Taparura cornice we propose to opt for continuity with the Taparura project by connecting the two cornices to create a large pedestrian esplanade by the sea.
​3-Cross the project in an organic way to create atmospheres, walks inside which will take visitors to the bottom of the land where we have created a marina.
4- The land is like an island surrounded by the sea on 3 sides, our choice is to locate the masses on the edges of the water and leave the interior to create public spaces, meetings...

Technical information

The project is organized around an intermediate space structured around a commercial gallery and event spaces. Furthermore, in the peripheral parts, there are leisure, meeting and well-being spaces: We can cite for example: the aquatic part, restaurants, cafes, bowling, casino, aquarium, play areas and hotel.
Opening up to the sea by creating walks in a project that takes us towards the sea. It is a gathering that renews the links between the city, the Sfaxien citizen and the sea.

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