While the souq or market is integral to Moroccan culture, they are frequently crowded and polluted as population density expands throughout the North African country. TomDavid Architecten from The Netherlands submitted a proposal as part of an international design competition for a more sustainable market square that captures and recycles rainwater and surreptitiously directs trash to underground bins.
This clever design, which features an elevated platform shaded by a leaf-shaped canopy and underground shopping, promotes greater ventilation and human circulation and fosters a more sustainable market ethos.
The winning proposal for the [AC-CA] Architectural Competition Conours d’Architecture, the Casablanca Sustainable Market Square features high quality concrete leaf canopies that are light, slim and yet perfectly strong. The interior side of the leaves are lined with shimmering gold tile that pay heed to the local culture.
Water that either pours or trickles off the canopies is harvested and stored in underground containers that supply the necessary water for the square’s plumbing or to clean the pavements.
Our favorite aspect of the design must be its innovative approach to garbage, which is increasingly a maddening problem not only in Morocco, where water ways become polluted, but throughout the region. Chutes between columns direct trash to discreet bins that are also stored underground, so that the days of overflowing above ground bins might be within reach.
The idea, according to the designers, is to encourage the local populace to cultivate new behavior. Throwing away trash and conserving water are both learned behaviors, but their approach makes them significantly easier.