A mudbrick house, it sounds simple. At least here, in the north of Fez, where peasants build small whitewashed houses. In general, they are made of several rectangular rooms, that don’t directly communicate, but through the patio around which they are laid out.
Life in a Moroccan house – at least in the countryside – is very different from life in a European house.The same room is used as a living room, a bedroom, or a dining room, depending on the time of day. There is one room for the guests ; another for the girls of the family ; and another for the boys and unmarried men. When a man gets married, he build a new room, where he’ll move in with his wife. It’s different for the girls of course, since they leave their family when they get married, and settle for their whole life in the house of their husband – often only a few kilometers away from their parents’ house.
Our neighbors' house: a few rooms laid out around the patio, a sloping roof... surrounded by olives trees and prickly pear cactuses
Sometimes, houses have two floors ; it’s a little more sophisticated. Sloping roofs are the norm here, although plain, flat roofs can also be seen in the area.
When we built our house, we stayed simple. Of course, the shape of some rooms – such as the kitchen – is different from what can be seen in the area. We wanted a house more confortable, more « Western », than that of our neighbors. The adjoining rooms communicate ; there is a terrace on the second floor, book shelves hollowed ouf of the walls, and a real bathroom. In the future, we really want to be more inventive because, when you build with mud bricks, or straw bales, the possibilities are endless. You just have to try !
We saw this beautiful house on the road that leads to the north of the country, about twenty kilometers from Ouled Mgatel. We will definitely have those arcades in mind when we’ll begin the construction of our next room.