The project’s aim was to envision a market that would both respond to the locals’ needs as well as to provide a new identity for the Casablanca market square, thus portraying the image of the contemporary Moroccan culture. The market would become a landmark, an icon within the city. A place which promotes an encounter and an exchange between the local and the foreign.
An overlook of the country’s main products and resources pointed out the significance of the textile and aluminum industries, both rapidly advancing towards a sustainable development. In order to contribute with these local activities, the facade consists of aluminum strips aligned in rhythmic intervals – slender apertures which provide natural ventilation for its interior. This design also alludes to the delicate movement of the veil, the semi-transparency of the cloth and the dyes’ multiple layers.
These layers are gradually unfolded as one penetrates the building. From the outside, one is able to visualize the market. The breaches on its skin partially reveal its contents though it is never completely exposed. Similarly, once inside, one is enclosed within the intimacy of the patio yet is still able to see the movement of the streets around. There is a counterpoint between what is concealed and what is being shown.
The market’s high point is oriented towards Mecca and gives an overview of the Medina, Casablanca’s city Center. The top floor offers a spot for contemplation. It becomes therefore a religious point as well as a touristic spot, offering a privileged view over the city.
At night, the market is like a lamp, shinning through the desert. Like the nomads, who prefer to travel at night so that their paths may be guided by the stars, our market shall be a luminous point with the maze that is formed by the Casablanca’s streetways.
Mariana Magalhães Costa, Anna Guanziroli, Gustavo Andrade