TOURISM ARCHITECTURE AS A THREAT TO HERITAGE IDENTITY IN THE VALLEYS OF THE HIGH ATLAS IN MOROCCO
Keywords: High Atlas, Dadès, Mgoun, Tourism architecture, Earthen architecture, Vernacular heritage, Berber decoration
Abstract. Despite being a major activity in the economy of the pre-Sahara valley of the High Atlas in Morocco, tourism can also threaten the conservation of the identity values of the architectural heritage of the region. The adaptation of many traditional buildings for tourist use or the construction of new accommodation incorporating traditional language into their structure or decorative repertoire does not always help to strengthen the vernacular values of original architecture. The starting point of this research is the typological definition of this architecture, mostly in aspects relating to the symbolic and ornamental elements of traditional dwellings in the valleys of the Dadès and of the Mgoun, its main tributary. The processes of evolution and transformation from the second half of the 20th century are then described, along with the risks from the tourist boom which has been affecting the region in recent years. In order to study this phenomenon twelve examples of tourist accommodation were selected to analyse the formal language and decorative resources used, in terms of heritage, but also from the perspective of the reinterpretation of architectural symbols in the context of acculturation. This theory considers dynamic cultural exchanges between tourism and the receiving society to be positive.