Montréal-based Lemay Architects has secured a second major architectural design contract in Algeria. The first, in December 2012, was a $2.4 billion contract from « l’Agence de gestion et de régulation foncière urbaine de la Wilaya de Constantine en Algérie » for the design and construction of the new city of El-Ménia. Now Lemay has won another, related mandate on Algerian soil. A consortium of private interests has entrusted Lemay with the design of the brand new city of Bourouag, located near Constantine. The urban building project is valued at close to $1 billion, and represents a major breakthrough in the company’s development of global business markets.
Lemay’s president, Louis T. Lemay, is pleased to see the company’s reputation reaffirmed at this level on the international stage. Lemay added that the Bourouag project is a major one, and its mix of residential and commercial real estate will pose an exciting challenge to the firm’s architects, designers, urban designers and other experts. The engineering consulting firm Exp will be directly involved in the project once it reaches the stage of implementation.
Michel Lauzon, partner and chief creative officer, indicated that this mixed urban development will marry residential, commercial and institutional buildings in four clusters forming a cohesive and integrated community. “These sectors will be both autonomous and interdependent, allowing for a sense of community ownership.” He added that this oasis city, born of the availability of a stable water supply, will be defined by the interrelation between a human settlement and the natural surroundings.
A new city in four clusters
The new city of Bourouag, Lauzon said, will extend over 40 hectares and will accommodate 2,595 housing units, including 125 villas in a first cluster. A second cluster will house three primary schools, three high schools, two daycare centres, a 15,000-sq.-m. sports complex, a college and a mosque. The third cluster, with a commercial vocation, will have a hotel, a shopping centre and a business centre complete with a bank, a health clinic and an administrative building. The fourth cluster will be composed mostly of public spaces, including some of an institutional or commercial nature, including a public market, a rock garden, green spaces, fountains and a small water park. Bourouag will be crisscrossed by a road network totalling 8.8 kilometres.
According to Lauzon, the project is an innovative concept based on contemporary urban design theory. It includes diversity, an element of surprise and recent developments in the field of urban ecology. It takes into account the unpredictable evolution of the real estate market and commuting distances, and favors active modes of transportation.