In the framework of the development of southern Morocco, the state has planned the creation of an eco-tourism centre on the Tifnit site, 40 km south of Agadir. Tifnit is a windswept desert area bordering the Atlantic Ocean that now contains one of the last sanctuaries of the northern bald ibis.
A very committed ecotourism programme was designed by Jean Nouvel and Thierry Huau based on environmental principles that radiate through all phases of the project :
The dunes are fixed by an ecological process: biological fixation. This not only requires the selection of plants that are deeply rooted in the soil (such as acacias and marram grass) but also the use of winds. This technique maintains the identity of this landscape of shifting dunes.
The ocean front is preserved through the creation of an ecological corridor.
The designs for the development of the village are based on the idea of an entirely hidden landscape: the access and traffic routes are made of natural canvas that is stretched and villas are built into «dune craters». The heart of the complex is designed as a large wooden pier that extends views to the sea and the lagoon. It is placed in the epicentre of the operation. Because of its geometry and prime position overlooking the sea, it is the only place where you can clearly see the trace of man.
The bald ibis reserve is fully maintained to the east of the village and a restored natural environment is dedicated to migratory species.