In the latest years Casablanca has grown fast and aims to become an international metropolis. The research starts from a historical analysis of the urban development of the city, from the beginning of the twentieth century until today, focusing on the coast changes. In fact this area is involved in the 2030 urban plans set by the government to restore big parts of the city, especially along the coast a high number of new buildings will rise.
If we look at the coast today we can see that there is a fragmentation of the urbanised area which consist mostly of isolated mega buildings or dense settlements which are linked only by the boulevard. For example the port, the Great Mosque of Hassan II which is one of the biggest in the world, the skyscrapers of Casa-Marina development, the Anfa Place, the Megarama, the biggest cinema in Africa, the settlement of Anfa and the Morocco Mall.
The strategic map shows us how probably the city will look like in 2030. Among the most important changes, the promenade of Hassan II will connect the Great Mosque to the peninsula of El Hank, and the promenade of Ain Diab will reach the Morocco Mall. These two promenades will create an important connection between all the mega buildings but there is an area which is not considered, the peninsula of El Hank. El Hank is located in the middle of this two promenades, dividing the coast in two parts: on the east side there is a more traditional part with the Mosque, the medina, the port and on the west side we can find all the beaches, the swimming pools, the bars and the cabarets till the Morocco Mall.
STRATEGIA COSTA 2030
El Hank is almost abandoned and in decay. On the top of the peninsula there are ruins, shacks and the lighthouse which is a prestigious building from the ‘20s, the symbol of the area. Then we find a bidonville, closed in itself by a wall, a social housing settlement made of slat building, the end of the Hassan II promenade with the football camps and on the west side the abandoned clubs of the French protectorate and the district of Anfa with the villas.
The purpose of the project is to reconnect the two sides of the coast, regenerate the area of El hank and design a new congress center for Casablanca in the empty space. At the moment the city does not have an appropriate structure to host big events and fairs and the proposal tries to fill this lack by creating a building which can fit the new urban plans and become part of the touristic district along the coast. At the same time through the design of this mega-project, we want to restore the surrounding urbanised area.
We decide to reroute the road, reaching the top part of the peninsula and incorporating the bidonville into the city. The bidonville is restored by inserting new infrastructures and services such as a school, a park and some mixed buildings with shops and residences. The promenade of Hassan II continues on the peninsula with a big park that surrounds the lighthouse and the congress center and then goes on reaching Anfa.
We design a congress center on the top of El Hank and we called it Casa-World. The building consists of a basement with the services related to the congress center and a skyscraper. The basement is made of a big circle semi-covered by sunshades with the exhibition area and services, 4 other circles that host the 3 auditoriums and the core of the skyscraper with a ring of shops and a restaurant. The residual space is free and is based on a grid with pillars. The exterior border is made of concrete walls perpendicular to the shape and a metallic net which create a jagged facade. Under the basement there is a 3 floors car park connected to the boulevard by two ramps and to the congress center by stairs and elevators.
The fluid form of the basement reflects the shapes of the tropical modern architecture of Casablanca, the interiors with the grid evoke the space of a mosque, the tower is a reinterpretation of a minaret.
The skyscraper is 150,5 m. high and is divided in five parts: the foundation linked to the parking, the basement with the access from the congress center, a shaft that hosts offices and hotels, a free plan with a panoramic view and a swimming pool and a crowning lantern on the top with a restaurant, a lounge bar and a rooftop garden. The facade is made of aluminium panels with a hexagon texture that changes in relation to the orientation to protect from sunlight, humidity, sand and wind coming from the sea. On the top the texture changes and becomes lighter and more opened.
Casa-World 2030 book (complete project): coming soon