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Marina Residence

5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo | Peia Associati

The new Marina Residence compound in Cotonou, Benin, by architect practices 5+1AA and Peia Associati is a gated community of 69 private villas and two public service blocks. The perimeter wall, an obvious barrier against visual and physical intrusion, has here been given even greater iconic importance than the minimalist design of the villas inside the precinct. In clear reference to the walls of African desert towns like Ghat and Ghadames in Libya, fortified Moroccan oases and the villages of Mali, the imposing length and irregular height of this structure - a uniform rusty red like the African soil - contrast strikingly with the uncluttered lines of the villas within. Inside the compound, 3 m whitewashed walls mark out private property boundaries and conceal the houses from the road. The outer red wall in contrast stands as high as 12 m in some sections. At intervals it expands into...

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