Architects: PMG Architects
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
Design Team: Guillermo Lumbreras Ruiz, Monique Bastos Nunes Hervé, Pierre-Henri Baudart
Site Area: 790m2
Building Area: 500m2
Gross Floor Area: 600m2
Building Coverage Ratio: 96%
Gross Floor Ratio: 76%
Stories Above Ground: 1
Stories Below Ground: 1
Roof Structure: Wooden grid of 2x2meters to fix a PVC polyester fabric membrane
Vertical Structure: Squared wooden poles fixed in between them with metal brackets and which are also attached to a series of bigger wooden pillars that descend the load of the whole structure to the floor
Maximum Height: 11m
Landscape (Open Areas): 176m2
Exterior Finish: Wooden poles with a water-repellent application
Status: Architectural competition, 2nd prize
Designed by PMG Architects, their second prize winning proposal for the sustainable market square competition in Casablanca lets itself be admired, but only reveals itself partially and gradually in using a variety of different architectural elements. Beneath the immense arched galleries, as airy as they are luminous, the architects try to grasp the thousands of riches of this place, so many vibrant fragrances and unknown colors, enticing flavors, and colorful spices. From one arc to another, from one vendor to his counterpart, from one ambiance to its contrary. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Past magnificent arcades, as our attention is caught and questioned, discreetly, traversing in¬numerable interstices of light, we notice multiple details of an architecture that revels in being discovered bit by bit, by each element, each sculpture, each relief, each shadow, each angle.
We can feel that this is just the beginning of a fascinating universe. Having passed the sequence of structured archways, we catch ourselves erring down what’s ahead, walkways and various paths, gradually coming to means with the implicit ordinance, letting ourselves be guided towards more intense light, an opening towards the sky, towards an area occupied by a market, towards the heart of the Medina. Movement, shade, a certain commotion, a certain stability: it’s the heart of the economic wealth of Morocco. Intrigue and desire become more present, the desire to venture towards the center, the desire to understand.
Where the aisles meet, at the center of this unfathomable world, once again we feel the presence of a powerful light, an opening towards the azure, the heart of the market.