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Stitching up "El K'siba"

Khalil Galai

Stitching up "El K'siba".

Rel. Marco Trisciuoglio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2017


Jean Hersent (1862-1940), engineer of arts and French factories, was working within the public works company of his family. The latter was in charge of the construction of a new port in Bizerte at the end of the XIX century, because Bizerte “Banzart”, city of the extreme north of Tunisia had become one of the most important North African cities during the French colonization. Indeed, opening on the strait of Sicily, it enjoys a strategic position, which the French had exploited since the beginning of the protectorate (1881- 1956) by opening a canal that connects the sea with the lake, where they built a new commercial harbour and a military arsenal. Along the canal, a new city is born. It is an European city with its checkerboard pattern, its avenues, its streets, its squares and its buildings that turn the back on “the Medina”, the old town. In fact, the history of Bizerte began 2900 years before the arrival of the French. More exactly in 1100 B.C, when the Phoenician established a small counter, Hippo Acra, in the North of Utica. The city passed after under the reign of Rome in 146 B.C. Romains named it Hippo Diarytus until the arrival of the Arabic conquerors in 638 A.C who gave her current name, “Banzart”. In 1535, it was conquered by Carle V who, subsequently, was chased away by the Turks in 1574. Since this date, Bizerte becomes a port of privateer. "... One of the best of the Barbary Coast ...” according to J. Hersent.

The colonial city turns the back on a 3000-year-old city. A city in miscellaneous stratifications who develops, also, along a port. The old harbour, a small fishing port that pene¬trates into the old town and divides it, having the Byzantine fort “the Kasbah” on its north side and a small fortification in the South, “the Ksiba”. Both fortifications, the houses, the small boats of the fishermen, coloured and accosted in the quay, offer to the port a picturesque aspect. Which explains the interest and the importance that gives Bizertin People to this privileged space.

However, a project of a big tourist port “Marina Cap 3000” along the Est-coast throws these last years. The project in-cludes quays for mega-yacht, a commercial part and ends with the arrangement of a residential tower in the entrance of the old harbour. It was the reason of conflict between the inhabitants of the Ksiba and the projects entrepreneurs and even brought into conflict the political parties of the region. With this last point, I would have evoked the three protagonists of the Bizertes urban landscape. Indeed, the centre of Bizerte is constituted by an old town “the Medina”, a colonial city and by contemporary architecture “Marina Cap 300”. My thesis articulates around two important chapters. At first, I will analyse the evolution of the urban form of the city since its origin. I will focus on the Medina (precolonial city) and on the colonial city demonstrating their specificities and highlighting the conflicts generated by their oppositions. This first part ends with the post-colonial city where I will quote the episode of Marina Cape 3000, project which was very much talked about and on which the notices are debated in Bizerte. Secondly, I will propose an experimental project, which represents an intervation on the heart of the fabric tissue of the old district the Ksiba.

Relators: Marco Trisciuoglio
Publication type: Printed
Subjects: U Urbanistica > UK Pianificazione urbana
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: UNSPECIFIED
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/6251

The city

Precolonial city

1. Hippo Acra

2. Hippo Diaritus/Zaritus

3. Under the byantines

4. Banzart

5. The modern periode

6. On the eve of the protectorate

6.1. Decomposition

6.2. Are we talking about a Medina

II. Colonial city

1. The new town

1.1. The Ceration of a new port

1.2. The European city

2. Bizerte, a dual city

2.1. Colonial city’s plans

2.2. The adaptation of the Bizerte’s Medina

3. Arabisnace

3.1. The colonial architecture

3.2. Rationalisme and Tradition

III. Postcolonial city

1. From a medina to an old district

2. Bizrta Cap 3000

2.1. The project

2.2. The conflicts

2.3. New form of tourism in Tunisia

The project

1. Introduction

2. The District

3. The Widespread Hotel

4. Conclusion



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Nadia Tarhouni, “Bizerte: Marina Cap 3000 ou les 3000 déboires d’un projet contesté (partie II)”, 29/04/2013, http://www.nawaat.org

Saloua Toumi, “Espaces publics et mixité culturelle, pour un renouvellement du tourisme tunisien”, 20/07/2011, http://www.projetdepaysage.fr.

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