‘Monumental Interventations’

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Collage, Students

‘Monumental Interventations’

Zakaria Boucetta



“Monumental Interventions” has been a series of conceptual projects that I have been attempting to visualize in order to pursue further in my architectural masters thesis.

The idea comes to integrate a new formal interventional architecture in between scenic topographies and historical spaces. In order to not only merge vista and architecture, but also to disrupt the main typology of these buildings by setting them in such uncontextual sites : unapologetically.

  1. The design of the GranVista Motel: Arizona comes from accepting the curvacious valleys of the grand canyon and by contradicting the dip with an offset series of cubic “valleys”. In order to not only maximize the views of the users but to create development style architecture integrated and disruptive in the worlds most natural valleys. An architectural oxymoron.

  1. The concept of Lago Di Garda Resorts comes from my time during an architectural internship in the north of Italy, in Verona. While visiting the “lago”, I noticed how incredibly beautiful the natural beaches were disrupted by the extreme tourism that has been coming to the Italian landscapes. So in a way, I promoted the idea of this disruption by continuing a development of Vista hotels near the main cliff of the lake, while conforming the lakes shores with a casted series of circular pools.


  1. GranVista Malaga comes from me growing up near the region of Malaga throughout my childhood. The drives around the cliffsides have been disrupted with unapologetic spanish development, while many hotels have been setting up near the main view points of the spanish coast. This one idea was to implement a Vista Motel with the materiality of the local rock, and slowly offset the massing in order to not completely disrupt the view of el don Picasso and his Malaga villa.


  1. Museo de Arte Moderno is a cultural space in the middle of Sevillas historic residential blocks. Going against the warm bricks and stones used for the spanish streets and social housing blocks, a large black concrete cultural space emerges in order to bring the users to understand the importance of the local context and preservation of Sevilla. The attempt of certain arches and an inverted roofline, going against the main spanish charm and residential block.



  1. Casa Cultural de Lisboa was a formal intervention in one of the main public squares of Lisbons harborfront. To create a tourism point as a monumental figure in its context is heavily ironic, yet this square has always been a standpoint for tourists to isolate themselves in, therefore I merely subjected them to a more curated tourism space in the Casa Cultural. The vantage point of its rooftop vista and small footprint in that space makes the building seem larger than what it actually is.


  1. New Horizon project is an answer to the waterfront development that has been a constant issue in the towns I grew up in. The answer may still be limited, but yet the concept brings a more ordered waterfront typology, where between the building would be vast public gardens and squares that open up to the water and beaches.


My ideas were not only to prove disruption in certain natural & historic landscapes but also to promote that development could be chaotic, could be not. Sensitivity to our surroundings has to be considered, or sometimes not. The play of architecture in these sites were meant to evoke a vast series of view points…while you enjoy a 12 euro sangria pitcher poolside in one of these many estates.




Who influences you graphically?

Ive been influenced throughout the years from the offices I worked with. However, the past couple semesters at school under Prof. Adrian Phiffer (Office of Adrian Phiffer) and looking at FALA, Superstudio, KGDVS have brought the most influence.

Most of the speculations derive from personal experiences- what were the difficulties in trying to convey these perceptions?

Since Ive moved around a lot throughout the years, it took a little time to understand how to fully portray my experiences through architectural drawing. With the language of collage, its more attainable to mesh different view points and aesthetics.

What defined the choice of fragments you chose to assemble? Were there specific requisites in terms of style? What were your sources? 

The fragments were all moments I noticed and ideas that came along with them. Seeing architectural collages these days, you see more than just a project, you see a story behind them. Seeing how architects such as FALA portrayed simple notes of architecture with a strong aesthetic brought me to understand that the complexity of a collage could be simple and truly beautiful.

In the digital age – how has the art of collage transformed? 

With the new age of rendering, we lose the main idea of what architectural design is, and that is to portray a projects concept as clearly as possible. Style and aesthetical complexity can always be added. But with renders, we seem to start thinking about artificial lighting and you lose yourself into trying to make the most realistic image possible with countless hours of preparation. The render interprets the project exactly how the architect envisions it, while the collage can bring in a space of conversation between the final collage, client and construction of the project.

However, the render and the collage are one and the same. They are both fictional images. Why not portray the project’s view point with a bit more personal style…

p.s. – mies never had vray.

Do you envision this as a continuous project? 

Its always a continuous project. I would love to continue to understand contradictions and typologies.


Being born in Montreal from Portuguese and Moroccan parents, the influence of architecture and art was a subliminal staple in our household. I moved at a young age to Morocco where my curiosity expanded from the mere concrete or brick wall. I spent a majority of my childhood roaming the cities of Marrakech and Tangier, where I familiarized myself with lost family and part of an architectural heritage.

I later moved to southern Spain at the age of 12 to continue my secondary studies and pursue my goal in being an architecture student someday, where the sea and white plaster residential blocks, with its lush gardens and verandas of southern spain became a new home. When choosing the United States and UB as my alma mater, I looked at their rigorous studio and work ethic. I was interested in their personal bond with well reknowned and aspiring young faculty, where I could push myself further.

After a couple of years of interning in European firms and having a study abroad in Tokyo, my style in drawing and representation was always morphing to the areas I was working in. I was slowly adapting to find my own particular style while combining the technical american ability of construction and structure.

Moving to UB from Europe had changed me. The technicality of the school’s teaching brought me to pursue back to a more conceptual system of teaching. Currently, in the process of finishing my architectural masters degree in Montreal or Lisbon



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