A residential building in Casablanca honours the city’s history of experimental architecture
Designed by Mohamed Amine Siana, the Immeuble Casablanca project spans 380 square metres and draws inspiration from the city’s rich architectural history.
Moroccan architect Mohamed Amine Siana has long contributed to the built environment of Casablanca, and its evolving expression of Maghreb contemporaneity. His other projects, such as Villa Z and Villa F, reflect a modernising architectural language consuming many of Morocco’s latest construction projects. And one of his more recent projects, Immeuble Casablanca, continues his ongoing efforts to navigate the city (and the country’s) changing social and cultural identity, while honouring its past.
Spanning 380 square meters in the heart of Casablanca, facing expansive sports fields, the residential building takes its form upon an irregularly shaped corner plot. Views from the inside units are almost entirely unobstructed, said Siana.
“Considered as an experimental laboratory of architecture during the 20th century, Casablanca has witnessed the development and construction of many buildings, ranging from neoclassical to modernist, through to neo-Moorish and art deco,” Siana told Round City.
“This building can be seen as a nod to the city’s history, modernising it with minimalistic details and expressions,” he added.
Immeuble Casablanca is also an ode to the whiteness of the city’s built landscape. Featuring white-tinted plaster, white glass tiles and white Greek marble, the building offers a visible statement of its locality.
In addition to experimenting with contemporary forms and visuals, Siana hoped to imbue a sense of theatricality in the project. Achieved through contrast, the architect used raw materials in the stairwell, including the concrete surface, local rustic stone for the stairs, and rough coating stained black. Only the brass handrails emit a sort of brightness amidst the somber design details of this space, creating a seam with the white side of the building.
Furthermore, the vertical concrete circulation block is treated inside the apartments with a light layer of white painting and without any coating. It is marked by a simple plaster framing that preserves the roughness of the surface.
“This is a project that is inspired by the history of its place,” said Siana. “And it tries to fit theatricality in its time.”