Left: Current state of the High School of Agriculture of Mograne. © Author, 2023. Right: The School of Agriculture of Sidi Naceur in Mograne before the mountains of Zaghouan, seen from the entrance block. © Author, 2023.
The Higher School of Agriculture of Mograne (1947-1952) in Tunisia

A referential architectural work of Jean Pierre Ventre






Tunisian modernity, Jean Pierre Ventre, Post-war reconstruction, Ecole Supérieure, Tunisia


In order to document the architectural production of the Modern Movement in Tunisia1, we propose in this article to study a major project in the production of academic institutions, the “Ecole d’Agriculture de Mograne” at Zaghouan in northern Tunisia. The school was designed by architect Jean Pierre Ventre (1913-1979) and his collaborator Marcel Faure (1882-?) and built between 1947 and 1952. The commission for this institution of higher learning, located in a verdant natural setting, was programmed with the political aim of bringing a breath of modernity to the country, breaking with the local traditional heritage. The complex is a classic example of structural modernity, in which the building’s layout reflects both the functional nature of the complex and its coherent integration into the surrounding context. The overall aesthetic of the building is based on a rigorous geometric composition, with horizontal and vertical lines giving it a monumental character. The individual parts, meanwhile, are rationally designed, giving them a functional dimension in terms of sun shading, circulation, or structural maintenance. The mixed use of jointed ashlar masonry and bush-hammered concrete lends stylistic coherence to the whole and has contributed to the school’s longevity and durability for over 70 years. For all its students, the school represents an exemplary academic environment where the memory of the place has left its mark on past generations and continues to do so. Over the years, the School of Mograne has been subject to a number of modifications. What’s more, several of the annex buildings are now in a state of neglect. This calls for urgent action to rehabilitate and reconvert these abandoned spaces. And even more importantly, the Mograne School of Agriculture needs to be protected and classified as a modern heritage and national heritage monument for the values it offers in terms of history, architecture, and environmental integration.

How to Cite

Gharbi, S., & Derbel, H. (2023). The Higher School of Agriculture of Mograne (1947-1952) in Tunisia: A referential architectural work of Jean Pierre Ventre . Docomomo Journal, (69), 35–41. https://doi.org/10.52200/docomomo.69.04




Author Biographies

Salma Gharbi, ENAU

Is an architect and a doctor in “architectural sciences” and a member of the Research Team on Ambiences (ERA) of the Doctoral School of Architectural Sciences and Engineering (ENAU), Carthage University in Tunis. Her research interests include architectural and urban environments as well as 20th century modern heritage. She teaches at the Higher Institute of Environmental Technologies, Urbanism and Construction (ISTEUB) in Tunis. For some years, she has initiated a research on the repertoire of Tunisian architectural modernity in pre- and post-independence and works for the recognition of the value of Tunisian modern heritage. She is a founding member and president of the association docomomo Tunisia.

Hédi Derbel

Is an architect and has taught for several years at the National School of Architecture and Urbanism of Tunis (ENAU), Carthage University in Tunis. His agency “Architecture, Research, Continuity” is a forum for theoretical and practical questions about architecture. He is the architect of the extension of the Mograne School in the 1980s.


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