The Moroccan government is spending a lot of money to bring Casablanca up to the standards of a European city and attract more foreign investors.
A spiffy new tramway system is currently being developed, and Moroccans from a variety of demographics are flocking to the city to find work. As the population grows, it is essential to ensure there is sufficient housing – which is where the Gardens of Anfa come in.
A new mixed-use residential complex planned for construction in 2017, the master plan includes three mid-rise residential towers, one low-rise office tower, and a series of residential blocks that will be connected by lushly vegetated piazzas.
The towers are shaped to have an “organic” aesthetic, in contrast with the sharp angular skyscrapers that have so polluted Arabian Gulf skylines, and trellised facades on each are specifically designed to foster growth of bougainvilleas and jasmine.
As the vertical garden and green roof movement gains speed in the West, and in some parts of the Middle East and North Africa, Maison Edouard François appears to be mindful of bringing in vegetation that will actually flourish in a region that sees a great deal of sunshine and little rain.
In addition to providing some solar resistance, which would keep the towers cooler in the summertime and thereby reduce the amount of energy required to run air-conditioners, the flowering facades blur the boundary of the garden – and add a brilliant burst of color to a city that is rapidly losing its green space.
That being said, this development is designed for a very specific, wealthier market, a trend that displaces Moroccans who have lived in the city for decades – if not longer. Hopefully government planners will remain loyal to residents who bring immeasurable cultural and traditional value to this magnificent coastal city.
:: Arch Daily