Casablanca, Morocco | 2006-2007
Located near Casablanca’s affluent district of Anfa, this 90,000 square metre mixed-use development takes advantage of its magnificent natural setting on Morocco’s Atlantic coast to create a new meeting point and destination for the city with places to live, offices, shops, cafes, leisure facilities and a five-star hotel.
The landscape concept contrasts the two prevalent historic influences, originating from both land and sea. The public spaces are carved into the cliff-side beneath the existing road, drawing visitors and residents towards the sea with a series of stepped terraces. An elevated promenade leads to a plaza with cafes, restaurants and bars and seeks to break down the barrier that previously existed between the upper level road and the lower level beach. The fluid nature of the water and sand at beach level with fluid planting interspersed with water is contrasted with the solidity and stability of the cliff in our material and plant choice. The design responds to Morocco’s architectural vernacular with durable local materials used for the upper level pedestrian areas whilst temporary structures which change with the seasons and the time of day are located on the lower levels along the beachfront.
The residential buildings use local materials and construction techniques. In courtyards and private gardens, trees and pergola structures to offer natural shade and shelter from sea breezes. Tree and shrub planting is more prevalent toward the land-side area of the site, on the upper public levels. A palette of drought tolerant plants creates a colourful tapestry across the rooftops of the residential units with the deep blue background of the sea on the horizon.