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Dar HI Nefta, Matali Crasset’s paradise in TunisiaTuesday 1 September 2015
“My work is based on life.” This is the way Matali Crasset defines what she does. This may be the reason why the 2013’s hospitality project Dar Hi Nefta is so connected to the nature and the local life.
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Dar HI, a new concept of eco-retreat, is the magical result of a collaboration between the ever so talented French designer Matali Crasset, Patrick Elouarghi and Philippe Chapelet. “This project follows the terrain’s movement and shapes”, she says. The incredible citadel that supports an hotel and a spa, emerges from the sand as a mirage.
What the designer wanted to do, was precisely what she did: she achieved complete harmony between the natural envolvence and the local life. This explains why all the furniture was precisely manufactured in Tunisia (most of them by a local Nefta’s craftmen). The interiors are happy, peaceful and filled with vibrant colors. Regal purples and hopeful greens, ochre and sand are the exotic colors leading the eye through the space.
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Three Different Areas
Matali Crasset designed 3 different areas: the pill houses, the troglodytes and the dunes. “I have conceived an architecture that is toward the indoor when outside and the outdoor when you’re inside” explains Matali. The pill houses in particular (since they are Matali’s favourite part of the project) are elevated from the ground, offering different panoramas: the rove, the village of Nefta or the Chott-El-Jerid, a magic endorheic salt lake.
The Pill Houses
These elevated houses are located according to the sun exposure and seem to be planted into the sand. “Both are very different”, says Matali referring to the Pill houses. The designer believes that one of the houses is more intimate, once it’s high above the ground.
In order to contrast with this intimacy, there’s a small village square down bellow where everyone has a space protected from the sun. The square, the bar, the water point and the small fountains are places to socialize and interact.
When asked what she loves the most about this project, Matali answers “the view”. And she adds: “There is something about Nefta that no picture can represent, perhaps what we call genius loci”.
The French designer confesses that apart from designing objects, they are “neither the center, nor the end (purpose) of the process of creation”: they are just a possible updating among other things (like architecture, scenography, exhibitions) in a certain moment, of a vaster thought system.
Photography: Jérôme Spriet
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