5/22/2012

Connecting Riads; Casablanca


This project is located on the east side of the Anfa district in Casablanca, Morocco on a plot situated between the Gran Theatre boulevard and a residential area composed of low-rise building and an urban park.  The Riad complex is composed of different residential typologies ranging from 70 to 160 sqm.  The apartments follow a 6 x 3 meter module in which a grid arranges the individual rooms.  There are five unit types and different subtypes depending on the orientation and geometry.



Designers at AQSO developed a scheme which allows for a continuous block aligned with the surrounding streets, wrapping around two large 'riads'.  This simple gesture is further defined by the particular context of each side of the sit in a way that the different elevation heights become a contemporary and expressive form to which the roof is formed by staircase shaped green terraces. This configuration develops an urban character toward the boulevard, reducing its scale to the opposite side.  The upward volume allows the apartments to enjoy the views of the park.




The building facade has two different strategies; the exterior skin facing the most public context becomes an introverted and formal element while the interior skin facing the private courtyards becomes extrovert and domestic.  The exterior is made by long balconies enclosed by sliding latticework panels and the second one is just a white and plain surface only interrupted by long windows and large protruding balconies.  The building block is also perforated through big openings working as green terraces and allowing good ventilation and views.



On the semi-public areas, the landscape is treated with an organic layout combining cobbled paving pathways, water features and native vegetation of trees and low-maintenance plants.