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USEK Student wins The Rifat Chadriji First Prize for Architecture 2021 with a project inspired by the past cave-dwelling communities of Tunisia

The Rifat Chadirji Prize, named after Dr Rifat Chadirji (1926 -), a great Iraqi architect, is a thematic, open ideas, international prize focusing on design proposals responding to local challenges and opportunities, and to think about architecture differently tackling social issues through design.

USEK is proud to report that architecture student Corine Eid is this year’s winner of the Rifat Chadriji Prize for Architecture 2021 for her submission, ‘A Future for The Past – The Mountain Architecture of South Tunisia’, a sustainable architectural project inspired by the cultural and historical past of the Berbers of Tunisia and their troglodyte heritage.

After attending a workshop in the summer of 2018, “Vers Une Lecture Renouvelee Des Architectures Des Montagne Du Sud Tunisien”, Corine became moved, fascinated and inspired by the past mountain life of the Berbers who had been displaced from their troglodyte dwellings homes by the government and forced to resettle in modern townhouses at the mountain foothill.

Corine’s project envisions reconnecting the past with the present by revitalizing the modern architectural infrastructures with sustainable renovation through efficient use of space, maximum natural light and wind shelter, all treasured practices of the former troglodyte architecture, and by redesign, infusing the reinvented spaces with the Berber’s rich heritage including souvenirs, cultural tropes, agriculture and traditional crafts such as textiles and weaving.
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