Conservationists argue that the city, country, and region would be losing unique heritage if the building were demolished.
"(The hotel) is one of the rare standing testimonies of the brutalist movement in North Africa," says Tunisian architect Mohamed Zitouni of the Oxxi studio. "It is maybe the unique example of this tendency in Tunisia. Hotel du Lac was built as an expression of Tunisia's modernity and independence. In contrast to the surrounding architecture, the hotel makes a rebellious statement of departure from both traditional and colonial architectural forms."
Zitouni adds that the design featuring more rooms on the upper floors gave the building functional as well as aesthetic value.
Aloulou notes that demolition would fit a broader pattern of erasing urban heritage. The Tunisian government recently introduced a bill that would make it easier to demolish old buildings that could be considered unsafe, which could have far-reaching consequences.
"The authorities have started a campaign aiming to demolish what they consider as old, dangerous, and worthless buildings without even consulting the experts," says Aloulou.