A Look Into Past of Casablanca Morocco
Hailed as the biggest city in the Kingdom of Morocco, Casablanca is situated in the center-west portion of the nation on the Atlantic Ocean. Considered as the biggest place in the Maghreb, the city is additionally one of the biggest and most significant metropolitans in Africa, in terms of finance and in demographics.
The city is the country’s primary harbor and 1 of the biggest economic center in the region of Africa. According to the 2012 survey, the city has a populace of around 4 million. Casablanca is viewed as the financial and business district of the country, while the capital is Rabat.
Top local organizations and global companies working have their central station and primary facilities in the city. Latest industrial figures indicate the city holds its rank being a prime economic district of the nation. The Port of Casablanca is one of the biggest man-made ports on the planet and the biggest port of Northern Africa. It is likewise the main maritime base for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
The first name of Casablanca was Anfa, in Berber dialect in 7th c. BC. Later when Portugal conquered Anfa in the fifteenth c. AD, they reconstructed it, shifting its title to Casa Branca. It comes from the Portuguese word mix signifying “White House”. Its current Spanish name came when the Portuguese empire was incorporated into the Spanish empire. Amid the French colonial period in the country, the term became Casablanca. In the eighteenth century, a quake devastated the greater part of the place. It was reconstructed by the Sultan who changed the name into the neighborhood Arabic which is A-ddar Al Baidaa, albeit Arabic likewise has its own particular form of the city. Casablanca is still called Casa by numerous local and foreign people. While other communities with other vernacular, it is known as A-ddar Al-Bida.
An acclaimed lane in Casablanca, the Anfa Boulevard is, for the most part, deemed as Casablanca’s “old original city”; legitimately a region with 0.5 million residents.
Casablanca was established and set up by Berbers in the seventh c. BC. It was utilized as a harbor by the Phoenicians and eventually the Romans. In his book Wasf Afriquia, Al-Hassan al-Wazzan called the early Casablanca as “Anfa”, a vast city established in the Berber kingdom of Barghawata in 744 AD. Al-Wazzan trusted Anfa was the wealthiest town on the coast of Atlantic in view of its rich land.”
By this period, Barghawata became an autonomous state and proceeded until it was dominated in 1068 by the Almoravids. Taking after the loss of the Barghawata in the twelfth century, Arab people of Hilal and Sulaym ancestry resided in the district, blending with the neighboring Berbers, which prompted to a worldwide Arabicizing. Amid the fourteenth c., under the Merinids, Anfa has risen as a significant harbor. The remainder of the Merinids was expelled via well-known revolt in 1465.
Portuguese invasion & Spain’s influence
Beginning of the fifteenth century, the township turned into an autonomous state again, and developed as an open port for pirates, prompting to it being a target of Portuguese, who attacked the city which prompted to its devastation in 1468. The Portuguese utilized the remains of Anfa to set up a military fort in 1515. The community that lived up around it was identified as Casa Branca, signifying “white house” in Portuguese.
Somewhere around 1580 & 1640, the Crown of Portugal was incorporated to the Crown of Spain, so Casablanca and every single other zone taken by Portugal were under Spain’s control, however keeping up a self-ruling Portuguese government. As Portugal softened ties with Spain up 1640, Casablanca went under completely Portugal’s dominion once more. The Europeans, in the long run, left the region totally in 1755 after a seismic tremor which pulverized the majority of the town.
The community was at long last rebuilt by Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah, the grandson of Moulay Ismail and a supporter of George Washington, with the assistance of Spaniards from the adjacent emporium. The place was called الدار البيضاء ad Dār al-Bayḍāʼ, the Arabic interpretation of the Spanish Casa Blanca.
In the nineteenth century, the zone’s populace started to increase as it turned into a noteworthy provider of fleece to the thriving business of textiles in Britain and transportation movement expanded. By the 1860s, there were about five thousand occupants, and the populace increased to around ten thousand by 1880s. The city continued as a meager sized harbor, with a populace stretching about twelve thousand in a couple of time of France’s rule and coming of French colonialists in the city, at first government in a sovereign sultanate, in 1906. In 1921, this has risen to a hundred ten thousand, generally through the improvement of small crudely built houses.
In 1907, France endeavored to construct a light railroad close to the harbor, going through a memorial park. The local people protested resulting in riots which caused some soldiers to be injured and 1 general to be executed. Accordingly, the French responded by ship, attacking Casablanca from the shore which brought about serious harm to the area leaving fifteen thousand killed and injured. The French asserted that it was to re-establish stability. This successfully started the procedure of colonization, albeit France’s dominion over the city was not official til 1910. Under France’s regime, Muslim anti-Jewish uprisings happened in 1908.
The popular classic movie Casablanca, featuring Humphrey Bogart emphasized Casablanca’s impressive standing at the time, portraying the city as the setting of a battle for control among contending European forces. The movie has a multinational line of actors.
Europeans made up a large portion of the populace. During the 1950s, the city was the main center of the anti-French revolt. A rebel act on Christmas of 1953 brought death to sixteen people.
World War II
The American-British attack of French N. Africa amid N. African campaign of World War 2 called Operation Torch began on 8th of Nov. 1942. The US assaulted at 3 distinct areas in French N. Africa, included 3 being the landings at Casablanca in light of its significant harbor and the main admin centers. The city was an essential key harbor amid World War 2 and in 1943 facilitated the Casablanca Conference which Roosevelt and Churchill talked about the war development. Casablanca has been the spot of a huge US airbase, a platform space for all US air jets for the European Theater of Operations amid World War 2.
In Oct. 1930, Casablanca facilitated a Grand Prix, organized at the new Anfa Racecourse. In 1958, the competition was conducted at Ain-Diab circuit. On March 2, 1956, the Kingdom of Morocco obtained autonomy from French. In 1983, the city facilitated the Mediterranean Games. Casablanca is presently advancing its tourism sector. The city has turned into the financial and business center of the country, while Rabat is the political capital.
In the early months of 2000, sixty plus females planned protests in the city proposing changes to the legitimate status of females in Morocco. Around forty thousand females went, requiring a restriction on polygamy and the presentation of law on divorce being religious process only around that time. In spite of the fact that the counterdemonstration pulling in .5 million who participated, the advancement for change began in 2000 was persuasive on King Mohammed VI, and he ordered another family law, in 2004, taking care of women’s rights activists.
On 16th of May of 2003, thirty-three regular citizens were murdered and a hundred plus individuals were harmed when the city was battered by numerous rebel acts made by Moroccans who according to others are connected to feared rebel groups. A sequence of violence threatened the city of Casablanca in 2007. These groups have brought fear to the community.
In 2011, when cries for reformation stretched through the Arab region, Moroccans participated, however, concessions by the ruler prompted to acknowledgment. In any case, in December, a huge number of locals protested in different areas of Casablanca, particularly the downtown area close la Fontaine, craving more noteworthy political changes.
Casablanca Climate and Topography
The city is situated in the Chawiya Plain which has in the olden times been the breadbasket of the country. Aside from the Atlantic coast, the forest of Bouskoura is merely Casablanca’s natural attraction. The wood was sown in the twentieth century and comprises for the most part of eucalyptus, palm, and pine trees. It is found halfway to the city’s international air terminal.
Oued Bouskoura is the only waterway in the city, a little occasional brook that til 1912 extended the Atlantic Ocean close to the harbor. The vast majority of our Bouskoura’s bed has been sheltered because of urbanization and just a portion of the south of El Jadida street is seen. The next stable waterway to the city is Oum Rabia running at 43.50 miles to the southeast.
The city of Casablanca weather has a hot summer Mediterranean atmosphere. The chill Canary Current off the Atlantic shore controls temperature variety, which brings about an atmosphere strikingly like that of seaside LA, with comparable temperature ranges. Casablanca has a yearly ave. of seventy-two days with huge precipitation, which adds up to 412 millimeters every year. The maximum temperatures documented in Casablanca are 40.5 degrees Celsius and −2.7 degrees Celsius. The most elevated measure of precipitation documented in a day is 178 millimeter on 30 November 2010.
The Grand Casablanca area is viewed as the engine of the advancement of the Moroccan economy. It pulls in 32 percent of the nation’s generation units & fifty-six percent of industry work. The locale utilizes 30 percent of the country’s power generation. With 93 billion Moroccan dirhams, the district adds to 44 percent of the industrial production of Morocco. Around 33 percent of national manufacturing exports, 27 billion MAD originates from the Grand Casablanca; 30 percent of the Moroccan banking system is centered in Casablanca.
A standout amongst an essential Casablanca export is phosphate. Some sectors incorporate angling, canning, sawmills, furniture making, construction materials, glass, fabrics, hardware, leather, sodas, and cigarette.
The activity at Casablanca & Mohammedia seaports speaks to half of the global business flows of the country. Practically the whole Casablanca waterfront is being constructed, primarily the development of big amusement centers amid the harbor and Hassan II Mosque, the Anfa Resort close to the business, amusement and living center of Megarama, the shopping and amusement center of Morocco Mall, and also a total remodel of the beachfront walkway. The Sindbad park is designed to be completely transformed with games, rides, and amusements services.
Regal Air Maroc has its main workplace at the Casablanca – Anfa Airport. In 2004, it declared that it was transferring its main office from the city to an area in Province of Nouaceur, near Mohammed V Int’l Airport. The consent to construct the main office in Nouaceur was marked in 2009.
The greatest Commercial Business District of Casablanca & Maghreb is seen in the North of the city in Sidi Maarouf close to the mosque of Hassan II and the greatest venture of high rise buildings of Maghreb & Africa Casablanca Marina.
Historical Background of Casablanca Morocco
Casablanca’s existence started being a Berber community sometime past 3,000 years, way earlier than when the Romans claimed the territory soon ahead of the passing of Emperor Augustus. They had effectively built the port of Anfa for some time and would keep on operating around Casablanca until the fifth century.
By the eighth century, the Berber empire of Barghawata had assumed control of Anfa, succeeded by the Amoravids in the eleventh century. The community got to be essential again under another Berber empire, the Merinids, who utilized it as a key port.
The Portuguese dominated and demolished it in 1468 AD because of its connections to piracy, then created a fortification in the sixteenth century. The community that built around it was known as Casa Branca, however, the Portuguese were under continuous assault from nearby tribes and are thought to have surrendered the town after a seismic tremor in 1755.
The medina was constructed by Casablanca’s new leader, Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, during 1770. It was believed that the Spanish people have supported the development of the fortifications. In the nineteenth century, Casablanca progressed by means of trading with Europe, until France’s invasion the beginning of the twentieth century.
Under the French territory, Casablanca expanded into a metropolis of 100,000 in the 1920s. The ambition of French service leader Marshal Lyautey started a monstrous half-century task that re-constructed Casablanca and its offices until they surpassed those of Marseille, the port that had been the motivation.
As romanticized in the well-known movie featuring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca was a vital key port town in WWII. In 1943, the acclaimed Anfa Conference occurred here, where Churchill and Roosevelt talked about the advance of the war.
In 1956, Morocco obtains its freedom from France, however, Casablanca kept up its royal flair and is acknowledged as one of the nation’s most European urban communities. It has developed into the economic center of Morocco, where most trade is carried out and has as of late tried to build up the tourism business. This has, to a limited extent, prompted to enormous redesign labors on the medina.
- Despite being set in Casablanca, none of the eponymous 1942 movies was shot in the Kingdom of Morocco.
- Due to the era under France’s regime, Casablanca features many of the most world’s exceptional craftsmanship deco structural design. In the meantime, the Habous area was an endeavor by the French to join Moroccan style with French standards, making for a lovely artificial Madina.
- Built somewhere around 1986 to 1993, Hassan II Mosque is maybe the finest contemporary case of Islamic engineering. It was to a limited extent considered to give work to a large number of conventional artisans.
Architectural Tour of Casablanca City
The city was a center of present-day engineering amid the twentieth century. During the 1900s it turned into the world’s 2nd city, following New York City’s 1916 zoning law, to take on a thorough master plan for city improvement. Til the 1950s different versions of the modern & Art Deco designs were strongly adopted by Casablanca’s designers and tenants alike. Back then, the metropolis was promoted as a French America, an adaptation of Chicago, place of hasty innovation which hurled high rises.
While Casablanca’s advanced contemporary city plan & engineering were absolutely molded by colonialism, the design created amid that time ought to likewise be regarded as a major aspect of Morocco’s cultural legacy. Part of the targets of Casamémoire, a civil society based on Casablanca, is to cultivate a familiarity with this legacy, and a few individuals at Al Akhawayn Univ. were glad to take an interest in the current year’s Journées du Patrimoine.
Volunteers from Journées du Patrimoine conducts tour guides of Casablanca’s heritage buildings. Shows, exhibitions, film viewing and meetings on architectural arts are additionally conducted over the city. Said Ennahid, a professor and archeologist who lectures Islamic art history at AUI, was resolved to engage students.
The walking tour began on Place Mohammed V, previously called Place Administrative, which name has changed frequently. This huge open plaza was the presentation of the architecture style supported by Resident Lyautey, a design lately called neo-Moroccan. Lyautey himself supervised the construction of structures positioned around the plaza, and he persuaded the planners he employed to think past the case of Orientalist engineering up to this point used in French North Africa. Moroccan themes, plans, items & artistry were to be re-evaluated inside the application of the design function then developing in Europe. The outcome, on Place Administrative, is a phenomenal show of the best quality design structure. The extravagantly supported community structures are produced using the best building materials and were planned to a lavish extent and with keen concentration to elements. At present, entry to these structures is exceptionally limited, so the yearly open house presents the main chance to go see them, and snap boundless photographs!
The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) is currently the Wilaya, the headquarters of the Regional Administration. It was planned by Marius Boyer and was finished in 1927.
The outside border of the Hôtel de Ville is native gray sandstone. A broad frieze of green zellij denotes the rooftop line. A clock towers over the structure. This has been Casablanca’s 2nd clock tower, after the Tour de l’horloge. Keeping the appropriate time was an essential piece of the colonial agenda.
The Hôtel de Ville has arranged around 3 gardens. Artworks by Majorelle (1859-1926) displayed in its marble stairwells. Royal rooms on the exceptionally grand upper floor incorporate the chairman’s office and Hall of Honor, where civil unions are done.
The nearby Palais de Justice (Court House), constructed in 1922, has a colossal exterior on the plaza, with an incredible focal entrance prompting to two sectioned displays on the core floor.
Next building is the city office of the Bank al-Maghrib, the government bank drafted by Edmond Brion and was finished in 1937.
In the middle of 1930s, the neo-Moroccan venture had carried on with planners working in the city’s private division. Earth-tones were substituted with brilliant greens and blues in the zellij work. Everything was expensive, halls adorned with fine marbles, others in costly wood framing with stunning Art Deco marquetterie.
Bank al-Maghrib indicates the edge amid Casablanca’s civic administrative center and its’ Central Business Area. As non-public division benefactors of splendid engineering, the banks accepted the soul of the official neo-Moroccan style. Huge numbers of their structures were absolute contemporary, with no citation to traditional European or Oriental designs.
Other business structures, offices, retail chains, and movie theaters, embraced the neo-Moroccan themes to Art Deco.
Casablanca’s business district is a life exhibition of Art Deco, modern, Mediterranean, French, and Moroccan. Firm as these structures, many need renovation, or if nothing else of repairs.
Strolling downtown Casablanca takes you to Passage Sumica, included in the city’s celebrated pedestrian galleries. Constructed in the ‘30s Passage Glaoui, Passage Tazi, and others go through city community, connecting the walkways of the bustling business boulevards on every side. They permit road level foot traffic to enter directly through the community, giving extra access to structures above, and expanding the business area and facade. They were modern facilities for the developing city. Aside from stalls, passages have coffeehouses and offer access to inns, films and other anchors of the sort of walking customer flaneur modernity Casablanca got to be well known for.
The Asayag Building was the embodiment of present-day urban living. City planner Marius Boyer got rid of the wet internal courtyards that exemplified thick urban blocs. Dilapidated as it seems, the Assayag Building must even now be a fantastic spot to dwell in. The penthouses at the highest point of the building start on the 8th floor and ascend in patios two extra floors. Flats were outlined with the new customer in view, a young professional or couple with no kids. They were not intended for families. They had open multilevel plans and extended in size from studios to multistory penthouses. In that capacity, occupants may have automobiles, the Asayag and other huge condo buildings in the main neighborhoods had basement parking.
For the ancient city tour, take a sight of Dar al-Makhzen. The adjacent mosque is said to be the oldest working mosque in Casablanca. You can also check out Friday Mosque, called the Old al-Hamra Mosque, and to the neighboring Residence of Lyautey. The Residence is presently the home of Casablanca division of the Union Marocaine du Travail, one of Morocco’s biggest and most established labor unions.
A volunteer guide may take you to the Ettedgui Synagogue, a private synagogue which even now belongs to the Ettedgui family, even if the family is not residing in Morocco. You can continue the tour to the Spanish Church, which the government of Spain lately turned over control of this congregation to Morocco. The Church structures are being renovated and will serve as a center for the community.
Habous and the Mahkama
The Habous neighborhood was constructed during the 1920s to accommodate the city’s developing common laborers. It was put up alongside the new Royal Palace. Albert Laprade led broad field investigations of Morocco’s urban architecture before he embarked to outline the vicinity in 1917. The actual construction of the area, which proceeded into the 1930s, was done by Laprade’s associates Auguste Cadet and Edmond Brion. Moroccan spatial compositions and themes guided each size of the plan. This modern community is an awesome set of conventional structural devices: rear ways, entryways, curves at every turn. It is vivid and exceptionally tasteful. Furthermore, it is extraordinary engineering. Made from sturdy materials at the human scale, everything about urban planning was painstakingly outlined and carried out.
Comparatively with Essaouira (otherwise known as Mogador) in the utilization of sandstone trim on white walls. However, Sidi Mohamed b. Abdellah forced straight wide boulevards on eighteenth-century Essaouira, Laprade impressed beautiful viewpoints in Habous.
The Habous neighborhood is an interesting display of end of century craftsmanship. The model made no replicas. But, the industrial grounds for innovation won over the artists. Minimalist lodging built in bulk described most succeeding neighborhoods for laborers, like Habitations Carrières Central. Additionally, the technocratic top-down down preparation approach, in charge of the outline of each and every corner and crevice in Habous, was inconsistent with the kind of customary building procedures which “naturally” created the corners of Morocco’s genuine urban design.
The Habous district did not achieve its proposed social gathering. Instead of working families getting reasonable lodging, Habous turned into the must-have address of the Moroccan nobles, and of the Fassi high society specifically, who acknowledged access to a Friday mosque and to the adjacent palace. The center point of Muslim Casablanca amid the colonial period, with its cafés and book shops, Habous is still viewed as the embodiment of the present Muslim urbanity. The souks composed by Laprade are experts in the finest Moroccan arts. Habous is the place Baydawiya brides go looking for all their wedding things.
Habous is additionally renowned for other amazing features of artworks and crafts, the Mahkama, or “tribunal.” The Mahkama is an incredible urban royal residence which took 10 years to finish. It’s one of a kind. Based on an incline, it seems to rise over Habous area. It can be accessed through huge door gateways.
In Mahkama, the pasha’s “offices” are considered as an Alhambra. Sunlit courts glimmer with white stucco creation. Similarly, as with the stucco work, the craftsmanship on the cedar wood roofs is detailed perfectly. Everything is genuine! The best-skilled workers were employed as well as the highest quality items were utilized. It’s an uncommonly refined restoration of Alhambra design, at life-size scale, with the supreme items.
It’s questionable if Mahkama ever filled its use as the workplaces of the Pasha of Casablanca, or what legislative office it serves today. But good thing, in Journées du Patrimoine, people, in general, may take a glance at this gem.
From Habous the tour for the bildi (common laborers) area of Hay Mohammadi. Included in the biggest companies in this area was the butcher house, les abattoirs. The city office by the rail yards was constructed by Georges-Ernest Desmarest and Albert Greslin in 1922. It was intended to the best standard of sanitation and for industrialized efficiency. It shut in 2000. In 2008 a union of arts and cultural affiliations, like Casamémoire, acquired the privilege to reconvert this brownfield site.
From 2009 the Abattoirs are a fabric Culturelle or culture factory. The key building comprises of an immense lobby. Light passes through rooftop openings and inside partitions are short. The foundation of the columns and the divisions are adorned in sturdy white tile. Given its initial intention, the office is furnished with modern pulleys, power, braces, and pipes. There are additionally huge outdoor sections and numerous building subsidiaries. The Abattoirs present ideal creation and exhibit areas for visual & theater performers. Until further notice, just a little part of the immense office is being utilized.
Aside from the bistro set, another design component seen in the Casablanca film isn’t right. The Casablanca offered to the U.S. film viewers by Warner Bro’s. in the fall of 1942 was shot totally in three distinctive Hollywood studios. Doesn’t have anything to do with the bold developed city. Differentiate the Hollywood adaptation of the city w/ Jean Vidal’s “Salut Casa” of ten years after. The film for “Casablanca” and the sets called for Tangiers. The film was hurriedly edited again to correspond with the US arrivals in North Africa and the Casablanca Conference of January 1943.
However the movie, Casablanca, & that period are currently the stuff of legend, a modern romantic war frayed times. Furthermore, Rick’s cafe delightfully lets its customers experience classic romance. The genuine Rick’s Café is in the best tradition of between-wars languor, lavish yet personal, and altogether soaked in jazz. Kathy Kriger’s restaurant, which began in 2004, is a tasteful addition to Casablanca by night, & may be comfortable in the city of grandma’s time.
Years ago, wandering photographers would take photographs of people walking on the streets. Photographers then gave a paper with their contact information. The individuals who want a copy of the pictures went to the picture taker a couple of days after and paid for the photographs they needed. It’s difficult to envision such politeness between outsiders on the walkways of any big city today.
The photographs taken by these photographers are very much familiar in the photo albums of the people of Casablanca during that period, as was showcased in VH magazine where it dedicated an issue to the Golden Age of Casablanca. Casablanca’s present-day architecture has been highlighted Royal Air Maroc’s in-flight magazine and other glossy prints as well.
Starting in November 1942, Casablanca was flooded with Americans. The Americans adored the city and the feeling was mutual.
Casablanca’s colonial architecture
The city’s center adorned with many French influences surrounding the downtown area and its proper, provincial structures as of now appear to have a place with an alternate and far off age. The design of government structures is explicitly referred to as Mauresque, or at times as “Neo-Moorish,” basically a French admiration and “improvement” on conventional Morocco style, with loads of horseshoe curves, and also the strange touch of darj w ktaf, initially an Almohad theme.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an example of Mauresque architecture
Numerous private structures of initial colonial era from 1912 until the mid-1920s were intensely impacted by the flowery Art Nouveau of fin-de-siècle Europe. After the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, a fresher, bold style, termed Art Deco following the Exposition, started to grab hold, enlivened by numerous sources, including traditional Moroccan pattern. A stroll on Casa’s downtown boulevards, appreciating in the Casablanca’s Deco legacy – make sure to look up, as a large portion of the better highlights look better up high and can present fulfillment.
Casablanca: Short History
The report has it that Anfa (the first name of Casablanca) has been in a practically constant cycle of advancement since the early Middle Ages when its revenues were gotten from trade and piracy.
In 1469, Portugal ruled over the city, coming back a hundred years later to assemble strongholds around the province of white-washed houses they called Casa Branca.
They left in 1755 when the town was harmed by a similar extraordinary seismic tremor that annihilated Lisbon. Anfa was later re-populated by neighborhood clans who called it by the Arabic name Darel-Beida. The name stayed being used until the mid-nineteenth century when Spanish merchants changed to the now well-known Casa Blanca.
Toward the start of the twentieth century, Casablanca had a populace of around 20,000. In the year 1927 – expanded by many French immigrants – this number had increased to 120,000 and achieved 682,000 by 1952. At this point, most of Casablanca’s significant Jewish people group had left, yet just about five years after autonomy, the overall populace had passed the million point.
At present, covering an enormous swathe of the seaside plain from Mohammedia to Sidi Abderrahmane, including many rural areas and numerous bidonvilles occupied by the country poor, Casablanca’s current populace surpasses 3.5million.
FRENCH ARCHITECTS WHO BUILT MODERN MOROCCO
Societe Generale Maroc, a building designed by Edmond Gourdain in Ville Nouvelle (New Town) of Casablanca, Morocco, showing a combination of Hispano-Moorish and French Art Deco styles.
HISTORY – When he arrived in 1912 in Morocco, the resident general Hubert Lyautey already has plans for the new Moroccan cities: they will be in the withdrawal of the medinas, said “native” cities, will be real laboratories of experimentation and will be inspired all the same from the local culture.
And who better to manage this large site than Henri Prost? Recommended by the landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, he is appointed the head of the Department of architectural and urban planning services of the jurisdiction.
Born in Saint-Denis on 25th of February in 1874 in a northern suburb of Paris, He began his studies at the Special School of Architecture and was admitted in 1893 to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in the Lambert studio. After having been a logistic three times, he obtained the first Grand Prix of Architecture in 1902 on the program “A National Printing Office.” Pensioner of the Academy of France in Rome, he stays at the Villa Medici in Italy. He chooses for his fourth-year regulatory dispatch the reconstitution of Hagia Sophia of Constantinople in Turkey.
Returning to France, he won in 1910, the first prize of the international competition for the extension plan of Antwerp. In 1911, his drawings of restoration of Hagia Sophia were exhibited at the Salon of French artists who awarded him his medal of honor.
The same year, he founded, with Agache, Auburtin, Bérard, Forestier, Hénard, Hébrard, Jaussely, Parenty and Redont the French Society of Planners (SFU).
In 1913, on the recommendation of G. Risler (Urban and Rural Hygiene section of the Social Museum), he was called by Marshal Lyautey to direct the architectural services of the Protectorate in Morocco. In this capacity, he draws up the master plans of Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and elaborates the project for the General Residence of Rabat
A French urban planner and architect, Prost was best known for his job in Turkey and Morocco and, where he designed several large urban plans for Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, Rabat, Meknes, and Istanbul, that includes transport system as well as boulevards with plazas, buildings, squares parks, and promenades.
Prost brought a group of urban planners, architects, and landscapers who will make large Moroccan cities a real lab experiment. Together, they’ll perfect the Art Deco style, a resolutely modern architecture, using the latest materials and an oriental touch, without sinking into pastiche.
A colonial medina in Habous
In 1923 New Medina was created, the Habous quarter, to be able to build a definite separation between the Moroccan quarters and the European and offer immigrants more space in Casablanca’s traditional structures.
Prost lived for ten years in Morocco, and later the city was glorified as a triumphant tale upon applying the principles of urbanism. In 1923, he left Morocco but will continue the work begun since the metropolis.
“l’Institut d’urbanisme” and the Special School of Architecture “l’Ecole spéciale d’architecture” with a course entitled “Art and technique of the construction of cities”.
In 1928, Prost was charged with establishing the master plan of the Paris region, which the law of May 14, 1932, made compulsory. The plan it presents in May 1934 shows agglomeration perimeters around cities, to limit the anarchic development of the individual habitat and limit the consequences in terms of degradation of sites and landscapes. The plan also puts in place a structure of rapid communication routes.
In 1932, Prost animated, with its founder Jean Royer, the first issue of the journal Urbanisme.
In 1933, he is responsible, with the engineer Marcel Rotival, to establish the development plan of the Algiers region.
Henri Prost was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1933 and president of the Central Society of Architects in 1936.
Between 1936 and 1951, as part of the reforms initiated by Mustafa Kemal former president of Turkey to modernize Turkey, Prost was appointed urban planner of Istanbul and charged to establish the master plan. The aim is to adapt the ancient city, with its three sectors of the Golden Horn, Beyoglu and the Asian coast, to the conditions of modern life. It establishes recreation parks, protected areas around historical monuments, clears mosques for scenic effects, and advocates safeguarding habitat and traditional activities.
He passed away in Paris on July 16, 1959.
A building in Ville Nouvelle (New Town) of Casablanca, Morocco built by Pierre Bousquet in 1918 showing a combination of Hispano-Moorish and French Art Deco styles
In 1947, Michel Ecochard succeeded Henri Prost and continued this project, which will give birth to modern Moroccan cities as we know them today.
Also an archeologist, Michel Ecochard studied at the Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1925 to 1931. He worked in Syria and Lebanon from 1931 to 1944. He was appointed Director of the Urban Planning Department of Morocco in 1946, a position he held until in 1953. It carries out the plan of development and extension of Casablanca, 1949-1952, as well as those of most other cities of Morocco.
In this role, Michel became the lead in big expansion programs, usually in Casablanca. Initially, Ecochard together with his team of planners and architects from France examined cityscape and the informal lodging in Morocco which is severely laid out on the territory. From there, they try to look for fast resolutions for the lodging scarcity in a nation were countryside areas were being left in favor of the major industrialized cities. In this setting, Ecochard created a decisive urban planning survey tool to be able to review the foregoing conditions and the cultural, social, and commercial setting.
Fez, Marrakech, Meknes or Casablanca were mainly built by French architects whose mission was to imagine the Moroccan city of today.
Marius Boyer, the master of art deco
Among the instigators of this architectural revolution is Marius Boyer. In Casablanca, the very austere Vox cinema and the discreet and yet meticulously decorated Hotel Volubilis, it is him. When talking about the colonial architecture of the white city, the name of Marius Boyer is inevitable. It is one of the architects who have most marked the modern city of Casablanca with his stroke of a pencil.
Marius Boyer graduate from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1904 and was one of the precursors of the art deco style. He landed in Casablanca around 1919 and joined forces with the architect Jean Balois from 1925 to 1929.
It did not prevent the architect from diversifying the composition of facades, to juggle between buildings overloaded with ornamentation and purely functionalist buildings. Some of his notable works: Hotel Volubilis (1920), Town Hall (1927-1936) now Wilaya, Hotel Anfa (1938, destroyed), Glaoui building (1922), Atlas Hotel (1922-1923), Building of the Comptoir des Mines (1923), Commercial Bank of Morocco (1930), Building Asayag or Assayag (1930-1932), Military Circle, Cinema Vox (1935, destroyed) at the time the largest cinema in Africa, Villa El Mokri
Jean Balois, the functionalist architect
Although he has long been in the shadow of his partner Marius Boyer, Jean Balois has nevertheless shone on the Moroccan architectural scene. Arrived in Morocco in 1919, this architect graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, initially practiced in the architectural services of the General Residence before opening his office architect in Rabat. He then collaborates with Boyer with whom he installs an office in Casablanca. His most outstanding works? The Jules Ferry school group and the Glaoui building in Casablanca, as well as a building on the corner of Mohammed V Avenue and Alexandria Street in the new city of Rabat.
Edmond Brion studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts in the Paulin studio and in 1911, he went to École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He built the Tasso building in 1931 and that of the Commercial Grain Corporation.
Its two major buildings are the Bendahan courtyard building in 1935, which borders the 16-November Square then called “Place Edmond-Doutté” and the Bank al-Maghrib. After 1935, the date of his separation from Cadet, Brion moved away from the neo-Moroccan and art-deco styles characterizing their common achievements. It asserts itself in a modern, luminous and stripped writing, of which the Bendahan building is an exemplary illustration. Built on a trapezoidal plot, the building offers, on a ground floor reserved for businesses, four levels of housing, including three with apartments of three to four rooms.
It also realizes the building of the Moroccan Company of distribution of Water, gas, and electricity (1919-1920), that of Grand Bon Marché, Boulevard of the Station, and the building Baille in Bouskoura street, place Edmond-Doutté (1930). He is the author of the trade passage SUMICA and the building of Grand Socco Boulevard de la Gare (1929).
Arrived in Casablanca at the end of the First World War, Auguste joined Edmond Brion until the mid-30s, plays a decisive role in the realization of the new Medina Habous district, based on an initial project of Albert Laprade.
Some of his important works include Habous Quarter, Semi-Detached Villa in rue Rouget de Lisle, Villa Capt, Moulay Youssef Mosque, 1925 Ministry of Health “Ministère de la Santé” (Central Pharmacy) in rue des Ouled Ziane, Michaut building, streets of the Post Office, Poincaré and Clemenceau, Villa Gras in rue Voltaire, Alexandre Bouvier building and the Moroccan Metallurgical Society “la Société marocaine métallurgique”, Building and passage of the Grand Socco, Villa Goulven in rue de Nieuwpoort, Villa Theil in rue Defly-Dieude
His masterpiece, specially Mahkama Pasha of Casablanca, bordering this new medina where the highlight of his career takes place.
Auguste and Edmond created what represents today one of the most atypical neighborhoods of the economic capital. Associated until the mid-30s, they planned the district Habous. A community mixing residences and businesses bringing its soul in the Moorish identity, but which conceals in its details a spirit of modernity. Together, they also design estate banks in Morocco, including Marrakech, Jamaâ El-Fna, El Jadida, and Oujda.
In 1956, he passed away in Casablanca.
Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, the defender of plant heritage
Forestier will make Marrakech and Rabat garden cities. In the 1920s, this French landscape architect is responsible for thinking the very spirit of the Moroccan capital. He then implements a series of parks following a “special plan of free spaces.” An action he undertakes to preserve and enhance the plant heritage of Rabat. In Marrakech, the network of parks is already existing, but the landscape architect is busy integrating it into the planning of new European neighborhoods.
Henri Tastemain, the architect of the reconstruction of Agadir
Tastemain is one of the last arrivals, and certainly one of the youngest French architects who arrived in Morocco towards the end of the jurisdiction. Graduated in 1950 from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he came with his wife in Morocco to found his firm. It is to him that we entrust the construction of the leading Moroccan faculties. Thus, he draws the buildings currently hosting the faculties of the science of Fez, Marrakech, Rabat, and Casablanca. Tastemain is also known to have been one of the architects of the reconstruction of Agadir, following the earthquake that struck the seaside town in 1960.
Henri Tastemain was born in Paris in 1922 and died in Paris on March 6th, 2012.
He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1940 in workshops Perret and Lods, and graduated in 1950 (Guadet price). He collaborated with Paul Nelson in 1947. He worked as an urban planner in Morocco under the direction of Michel Ecochard and Jean Chemineau in 1948 and 1949. He moved to Rabat, in association with his wife Eliane Castelnau, in 1951. In 1959 and 1960, he is consulting architect of the French Cultural and Academic Mission in Morocco. In 1967, he received the 3rd prize at the Pessac monetary institution. Henri Tastemain teaches at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris in 1969. In 1970, he is chief architect of the ZAC of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen. In 1971, the company Matra named him architect consultant. In the years 1975-1980, he built several faculties of science in Morocco.
Pierre Jabin, the intellectual architect
Born in Blida, Algeria in 1894, Jabin moved to Morocco after the end of the First World War. First in Casablanca, where he opens his offices, then in Agadir, where he retires. It is to Pierre Jabin that we owe the art deco cinema Rialto, one of the first places dedicated to the seventh art that was born in Casablanca, in 1930. The French architect “used the pencil and the feather with the same ease,” as the quarterly magazine Notre Maroc wrote in 1950. Jabin took the opportunity to contribute to several national media to expose his vision of architecture, city, and urbanism.
In 1919 when the war was over, he settled in Morocco. He was active in Casablanca and was associated with François Pénicaud.
He is the author in Casablanca, among others, of the Villa Cohen (1931), the Moretti-Milone building (1934-1935), the Rialto cinema (1929), the brasserie Le Petit Poucet (1929) and the Liscia building and Lux cinema (1937).
Pierre Jabin died in Nantes in 1967.
Adrien Laforgue, the architect of the State
Born in 1871, Adrien Laforgue practiced in Rabat from 1912 until his death in 1952. In Casablanca, he is the author of the Central Post Office (La Poste) which was built at the same time as the current French consulate and took as a model, the Grand’Poste of Algiers, made a few years ago. He is also the man behind the Office Cherifien des Phosphates and the Rabat city station, which The opposite of the place still occupied by military encampments at the time. He died in 1952.
Albert Greslin, the architect with luxury tastes
Casablanca said thank you for having designed its municipal slaughterhouses, become one of the typical places of the underground culture of the economic capital. Greslin, who arrived in Morocco two years before the First World War, was passionate about big-budget projects, where he could create luxurious places where comfort is required. One remembers, in particular, the building of the Imcama, which cost not less than 8 million francs at the time of its construction in Casablanca. He is also responsible for several renowned villas on the outskirts of Casablanca and the church of Maarif, in the same city.
Edouard Delaporte, the concrete lover
Born in Paris in 1909, Delaporte began painting in 1929 when he was 20 years old. He went to school at the Paris’ Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, and came to be an architect in 1937, recognized by the government. He was called to serve in World War II in 1939. When the war was over, Delaporte left France in 1946, and transferred to Rabat, Morocco. For a decade he built several villas, government buildings, and private homes. Upon Morocco’s independence in 1956, he returned to France and settled in Antibes. He transferred to a small town in the interior of Nice in Saint-Jeannet, in 1978 where he devoted himself to painting. He died at his home, Place sur le Four on 6th of July 1983.
It is to him that we owe Villa Delaporte to Casablanca, bearing his name. Nowadays an art gallery, this building is distinguished by the clarity of its spaces, its resolutely modern design, drawing its ornamentation in the Moroccan culture. The architect and painter Edouard Delaporte, who arrived in Rabat after the Second World War, also built several emblematic buildings in the city of Rabat using concrete as a material of choice. Among them, we remember including the gymnasium of the Foch stadium or the Ben Kemoun building in Rabat.
Delaporte arrived in 1913 in Casablanca. He signed with the Perret brothers Paris-Maroc stores which was inaugurated in 1914 became the Moroccan Galleries, demolished in the 1970s.
He is also the author of the Excelsior hotel, the Maret building and the small villas of the rue du Parc.
The Excelsior, decorated with a whitewashed colonial frontage and Spanish tile, was designed by Hippolyte-Joseph Delaporte, a French architect in 1916.
Albert Laprade (29 November 1883 – 9 May 1978) was a French architect, perhaps best known for the Palais de la Porte Dorée in Paris. Attached to the general residence of France in Rabat Morocco, where he is the deputy of Henri Prost, the urban planner of Lyautey. He participates in the construction of the indigenous city of Casablanca and has conducted extensive field studies of Moroccan urban architecture before he set out to design the neighborhood in 1917
Albert Laprade is the architect of the General Residence of Rabat and the lighthouse of El Hank also called Phare d’el Hank, as well as the French consulate in Casablanca built in 1922.
In 1928, called the new architectural style that was developing in Morocco as a “synthesis of the Latin spirit and love for autochthonous art”. He saw the vision as combining “values of ambiance” with a “whole way of life”. Albert knows that architecture was alive, and “should express a sentiment.”
Born on March 7, 1914, Leonard Morandi is a Swiss architect and putative descent a great-grandson of Napoleon III. He arrived in Lyon in 1933 to learn about architecture, studied at the National School of Fine Arts of Lyon in 1936, where he continued his schooling under the leadership of Tony Garnier, Grand Prix of Rome in 1899, then with Pierre Bourdeix, his successor.
In later part of 1946, Léonard made a prospective trip to Morocco, as suggested by his father-in-law Henri Lumière, and started constructing condominiums. He settled permanently in Casablanca in 1947 and later was asked to work on a large building of houses and offices on behalf of three entrepreneurs from Lyon, Grenoble, and Marseille, the 17-story Liberty Building, the first skyscraper in North Africa.
Some of Leonard’s works include the 1950 Pélissard Offices in El Bakri Street, Villa du Dr. Blanc, the 1949 Villa Dar Lugda in Anfa Supérieur, the 1952 Villa Fleureau in avenue de Boulogne, and the 1954 Chapel in city Ohana in Bd Moulay Youssef.
Léonard Morandi built many luxurious buildings and villas in Morocco until 1956.
Born on 19th of February 1881 in Marseille, Paul Tournon was a French architect who studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1902. He heads several national palaces and French civil buildings and a part of the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
He is recognized for his reinforced concrete religious’ buildings like the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Élisabethville (Yvelines). Tournon was famous for designing 15 religious buildings in reinforced concrete, including the Church of the Holy Spirit in Paris.
He built three churches in Morocco, that of the Sacred Heart in Casablanca (Cathédrale du Sacré-Cœur )- whose Marshal Lyautey wanted to make the cathedral of Morocco, St. Joseph of the Ocean in Rabat, and the small sanctuary of Ifrane, summer resort settlers from Morocco.
He died in Paris on 22nd of December 1964.
A Casablanca-born French architect in 1916, often referred to as the Moroccan Oscar Niemeyer. He studied at the École Nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and graduated the year 1945 before starting a private practice in Morocco.
Aga Khan Award for Architecture was given as recognition to Jean-François Zevaco during the 1978-1980 cycle for the 1965 Courtyard Houses he built in Agadir. He devoted his career to establishing the very principle of modernity in Moroccan architecture. He’s the architect who designed several buildings that are now part of the daily lives of Moroccans. Witness the busy Zevaco villa, initially designed for the family Suissa, which bears his name, which for several years has been home to the bakeshop Chez Paul, specializing in catering.
In 1947, the architect Zevaco produced stunning villa on a corner lot in Casablanca’s affluent Anfa district. Nicknamed Villa Butterfly (Villa Papillon) due to its cantilevered balcony and canopy, this three-bedroom house displays an exciting mix of the Parisian bourgeois arrangement of domestic programs and innovative formal vocabulary reminiscent of Brazilian lyric Modernism.
Concrete was certainly Zevaco’s favorite material. New material at the time that he exploited all the sauces conferring an austere, imposing and strict to his buildings, but paradoxically organic. For example, the current Crédit Agricole facing the Rabat station, where fluid shapes soften the brutalism of the varnished concrete in architectural details such as moucharabieh incorporated into the main facade. It is a building that has aged but remains timeless.
Jean-François Zevaco died in indifference in 2003, in his villa Casablanca, following a long illness. He did not have much in his last days and even managed to sell his furniture to survive.
Wolfgang Ewerth is an architect of German origin who practices in Casablanca from 1954 to 1975 where he realizes villas, including the famous villa of Doctor B. in the form of slab which has become a landmark for Casablancais who call it familiarly the “Camembert”, as well as that of Serge Varsano, the California aesthetic.
Originally from Pau (Pyrénées Atlantiques), Lendrat was initially a grocer at a shop in the Provost (Mohamed el Hansali) street in the old medina. Having bought the wreck of a boat stranded on the beach of Ain Diab, it gets rich, which leads him to buy the land of Roches-Noires, having learned of a military construction project there.
The project once abandoned, he seeks to sell his land in lots, to no avail. He then decided to build a new district, launched a brickyard to build houses and sells the sand from the beach to the company Schneider for the construction of the port. He will also embark on journalism before ending his days ruined in the 1930s
Pierre Bousquet is an urban planner, graduated from l’École d’urbanisme de Paris. He is present in Casablanca since 1914 and he practices there until 1952. Also the architect of many important buildings such as the Lyautey Lycée, the Civil Hospital, the Institute Pasteur, the Post Office, the Bourse, and the Martinet building. He built the Casablanca’s Central Market in 1917.
CASABLANCA’S CLIMATE AND ARCHITECTURE
The architecture under the Protectorate is often presented as an experimental laboratory where the builders from France have tested various and varied architectural solutions, to export them to the metropolis.
But this architecture is also part of a very particular environment, Morocco, a country with both Mediterranean and Atlantic climate, with a dry and hot season that precedes a cold and wet season.
In what way does the climate mark this architecture of its imprint and influence the solutions adopted by architects to shape their buildings?
We will first see that the architecture of the Protectorate is the heir to a long tradition of adaptation of buildings to climate, adaptation which, in a second time, results in particular arrangements of which it is possible to establish a short typology. But these climatic elements are also an unsuspected resource for architects and their works.
A “climate” architecture of ancient tradition
French architects are inspired, in their constructions, by solutions already experienced in traditional Moroccan architecture.
Indeed, in this one, the blind walls of the houses of the medina, their orientation and their building materiawls, the alleys that wind between them, the patios – called in Arabic “wast-ed-dar” – sometimes surrounded by colonnades, tiled and trimmed with green plants, the cloisters over the doors or at the top of the walls to circulate the air, the brise-soleil … are all visible signs that show the “climate” concerns of the architects of the historic city in the Middle Ages.
Historic buildings in Habous, Casablanca
But this architecture has been extensively studied by French architects landing in North Africa in the early 20th century, curious to learn more about local buildings: including Albert Laprade who carefully draw the details of the vernacular architecture of the medina, sketch that we find reproduced in The Arab House of Jean Gallotti. There is no doubt that the French architects knew how to retain these lessons and draw an interesting part of these construction processes, even if the European cities, “new cities”, contiguous to the medinas do not have much more to do with them and perhaps do not have the ecological dimension, terribly current today.
But we can go further still: the patio, the colonnades, this mixture between outside and inside refer to the Roman architecture, which developed on several Moroccan sites (Volubilis, Lixus, Banasa) in the first centuries of our era. Here again, we find this intimate entanglement of the interior and exterior, in this case of well-known sections of the Roman villa: the atrium, whose cover is pierced by an opening – “impluvium” – which lets the rainwater flow in a “compluvium”, basin located in the center of the room. ; the peristyle, colonnade surrounding a garden (and sometimes a “piscina”) at the back of the villa, outdoor dining room or “summer triclinium.” It is true that Italy is a country where the temperatures can be quite lenient as well.
It is quite likely that the medieval architecture of the Moroccan medinas is partly to blame for this older antique architecture.
It is, therefore, to adapt to this climate that the French architects integrate into their buildings many developments quite impressive in a country where heat can be significant.
ELEMENTS OF COLONIAL BUILDINGS
When we walk to Casablanca (and other urban centers in Morocco) and wander through the streets of the new city by looking up, we can easily spot some of these developments, such as:
- The Belvedere – It could be defined as a 360 ° balcony, since, as its name indicates, its vocation is to allow those who stand in this small building or pavilion to enjoy a beautiful view of what surrounds them. It can take the form of a kiosk perched at the top or corner of a building.
- The terrace – The terrace is probably an extra space for the inhabitants of a building, where they can dry clothes of course, but also take the cool at dusk after a hot day. The buildings in terraces of Marius Germinal Boyer allow to clear such spaces and associate them (as on the Assayag building in Casablanca) to “bachelor.”
- The pergola – The pergola, made of horizontal beams, shaped like a roof, supported by columns, is a raised light structure that allows obtaining shade, that we grow around a climbing plant or that we put down over a wicker cane. The profile of this small building is quite recognizable, even from a distance.
- The hanging garden – The luxury brought to individual prestigious buildings of the time led the architects to build gardens suspended at the top of their buildings, for example, that of the building “Liberté” on the last floor, sheltered by a pergola.
- the balcony – The balcony allows you to enjoy the outdoors from your apartment, which is an extension projected outward: we find a substantial quantity and all forms in the new cities.
- The spinning balcony – The balcony can also be spinning: it runs horizontally all along the facade, often on the penultimate floor as on the Haussmanian buildings. It sometimes fits into a larger ensemble, such as a corbelled bow window.
- The loggia – The loggia, a word of Italian origin, is a variation on the theme of the balcony. In the loggia too, one is both a little inside and a small outside at a time. It corresponds to a recess in front of the building, protected by a parapet, sheltered from the sun and rain at the same time. It is sometimes embellished with columns. The loggia and the balcony often alternate on the facades, in a skillful filling game to which the architects devoted themselves.
- The gallery – The gallery is a variety of loggia which, like the spinning balcony, develops on the whole of a floor.
- The veranda – Extension of the building, the veranda plays on the ground floor a role similar to that of the balcony or loggia, protected and mixed space, combining versatile indoor and outdoor.
- The sunshade – The purpose of the sunshade is to limit the inconveniences associated with violent exposure to light rays falling on a bay or opening: smaller than an awning, it overcomes windows or cornices.
- The canopy – Like the sunshade for the window, the awning comes off the wall over a door to bring shade.
- The porch – The porch is still an intermediate space, outside but sheltered, between the building and the outside. Often with a small roof, it is supported by columns or pillars and is sometimes extended by a flight of steps.
- The portico – The porticoes or covered buildings that seem to support buildings at their base create a path for pedestrians and walkers away from heat, sun or rain.
- The external staircase – It often looks like a helix attached to a corner of the building.
- The cloister – The trellis is a perforated wall, often embedded in a bay, allowing either the circulation of air in the upper parts of the walls or to see without being seen when it plays the role of the window. Of course, the ajourance gives rise to a particular design, more or less vegetal or geometric, whose interest is also aesthetic.
Of course, all these elements can be combined: balcony or loggia?
These are the most visible elements, often on the front. But architects have worked for this purpose (adapting to the climate) also in the structure of buildings. So Marius Boyer also landscapes of cold air columns in its premises to cool parts. It does not leave courses closed inside, conducive to the installation of cold and humidity, but opens and directs these buildings to collect the best and hottest rays of the day conveniently.
However, this “climate” dimension, useful as it may be, does not have only one purpose: the contemporaries of these architectures had the fine game of putting forward another advantage obtained by the presence of these elements.
“Climate” elements at the service of the decorative
Sometimes, architects like to arrange scholarly and rhythmic balconies and loggias on the same facade. This is because they immediately identified all the aesthetic and decorative elements that they could draw from this constraint that pushes them to find solutions to the need for freshness of the inhabitants.
So these climate elements are often the support of decoration, like the zelliges or the bas-reliefs, the balconies in wrought iron too, in any case until the years 1930, at the moment where the facades “purify” and stripped of their ornaments.
But later, on these same “functionalist” surfaces, the layout of the various components – windows, balconies, loggias … – becomes an aesthetic issue that is echoed in the literature of the time: Jean-Michel Cohen and Monique Eleb quote Henri Descamps, in French architecture in Morocco, introduction: “Moroccan creation” , pp. 911-912: “In the European house, the climate is manifested by a profusion of porches, canopies, balconies and terraces, through the creation of porticoes along the shopping streets. This succession of arcades manages to give a certain cachet to Casablanca which, without it, would have a rather banal aspect of big modern city. ”
It seems that adaptation to the Moroccan climate has been a real concern of French architects who worked in this part of the world and at that time.
When we walk in Moroccan cities, we also quickly realize that contemporary Moroccan architecture is a significant part of the architecture that preceded it: very often indeed, the facades of current or recent buildings digging loggias or rounding balconies.
If it is true that knowing an architecture can identify it quickly and correctly in the varied architectural landscape of a city and appreciate it better, this article may contribute to the recognition of this shared heritage that constitutes the colonial architecture of the Protectorate, and therefore its protection and conservation.
CASABLANCA: AN EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY OF THE 2OTH CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
From 1920, in the very heart of the roaring twenties, the beginnings of art deco, pioneers and settlers will encourage Casablanca to become the locomotive and symbol of a future Morocco: modern, dynamic and open.
Thus, Casablanca, laboratory of urban planning and innovations where, decorative pluralism, latest trends, and use of new technologies, such as in 1917 that of reinforced concrete, will be tested and all these currents, will make the city what it represents today.
We find all styles: Arab-Andalusian revisited to the French, art nouveau, neo-classicism, art deco, neo-Moorish, functionalism, cubism, hygiene, building redans, and brutalism.
Curved lines, symbols of art nouveau, geometric shapes and art deco features, decorations and ornaments of cherubs, fruit baskets or lion heads, all elements and mixtures that, with harmony, with friezes of zellige, stucco and carvings of cedar wood, form in particular the interests of the numerous administrative buildings of the city center, or as also the Hotel Excelsior, give a particular tourist attraction, very representative of these times with the surprising visible creativities at Casablanca.
Casablanca, which was also the capital of modern architecture under the influence of the building “Levy Bendayon” of 1928 of the architect “Marius Boyer”, the building “Moretti-Milone” of 1934 by “Pierre Jabin” before give way to the ultra-modern style of villas with Californian accents and the first African skyscraper “freedom building” of “Leonard Morandi” 78 meters high, designed in the 1950s.
- Arab-Andalusian style – is noted for its decorative elements. This includes wrought iron gratings, azulejo (painted ceramic) tiles, and lavish landscaping.
Examples of Arab-Andalusian buildings in Casablanca – Palace of Justice and the fountain visible on the Mohamed V square.
- Art Nouveau style: is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts. It was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.
Examples of Art Nouveau buildings in Casablanca – the remains of the facade of the Lincoln hotel of 1917, part of which collapsed in 2009, the post office building of Avenue Mohamed V built in 1918 by Adrien Laforgue, the first building of this district, Bank Al-Maghrib of Casablanca
- Art Deco style: called style moderne, movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s at the end of the world war. The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look.
Examples of Art Deco buildings in Casablanca – The villa of arts, the old church of the Sacred Heart, The district itself which was at the time of the French protectorate the European district of the city with the administrative square, the Arab League Park, the wide boulevards
- Neo-Moorish style: also called Moorish Revival is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental. With the 1930s, the time is stripping, comfort and modernity are the keywords or architectural creation thus sweeping the neo-Moorish style and ornamental profusion. The new generation of architects who landed in Casablanca at the end of the 1920s had only one obsession: to put into practice the modern theories learned on the benches of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. From then on, the work on the volumes replaces the one on the decorations which give way to the balconies, to the bow-window saving space; the facades of the buildings, which are constantly gaining height, are bare. Luxury buildings, or those of current production, take into account the concern for comfort that animates the Casablancan bourgeoisie and all are equipped with elevators, garbage incinerators, garages, and bathroom apartments. Real works of art, luxury buildings in the city center will be named after their sponsor, thus making reference to monuments in this “new city”. But it is in the villas that the architects leave all their ingenuity where they experience the latest discoveries in terms of housing and comfort. Highly impressed by the profusion of constructions, international critics will all agree to describe Casablanca as the capital of modern architecture. Examples of Neo-Moorish buildings in Casablanca – the Bessoneau building of 1930 before its destruction in 2011, the building erected in 1925 the “Piot-templier” a work of Pierre Ancelle.
- Functionalist style – the modern Cubist movement recognized through constructivism in the USSR, then Bauhaus in Germany has been represented in Casablanca beginning the 1920s. The bare facades of these buildings will shape the modern impression of the city.
Cubist architecture thrived primarily in the 1910-1914 years, however, the buildings in the cubist style, or at least influenced by it, were constructed too after World War I. When the war was over, an architectural style called “rondo cubism” flourished in Prague. It was a blend of round shapes and cubist architecture.
SHOULD CASABLANCA’S COLONIAL HERITAGE BE PRESERVED?
The biggest city of Morocco, Casablanca is far from the remainder of the nation’s real urban areas that were established between the 17th – 15th C. The history of Casablanca is just as of late.
The city was among the five new arranged urban areas in the country after the foundation of the French dominion in 1912. The political choice went for the production of present-day urban centers in the nearby walled medieval urban communities of Morocco. A French urban planner and architect, Henri Prost, was named as the leader of another office accountable for the improvement of the new urban communities. In 1915, Prost displayed the principal improvement strategy for Casablanca. The architect’s work turned into a reference for planning the city’s development in France after World War I.
Casablanca turned into a center point for famous European architects. The city became free to have experimented without any confinements or stylish limitations. The city has the greatest fixation to date of compared Art Nouveau, Neo-Classic, Neo-Moorish, Art Deco, and present-day structures, and is viewed as a live reference in design history.
The specific history of Casablanca makes a debatable discussion if its colonial buildings and urban condition ought to be saved as a component of Moroccan legacy. The discussion was begun by a little gathering of Casablanca occupants, who in 1995 made an affiliation known as Casamémoire to support, protect and classify the downtown area’s structures on the national rundown of historical structures and spots. The classification shall shield these structures from theorist ravenousness in a metropolis where lands intended for development is rare.
But then, national authorities don’t think about the conservation of colonial buildings as a primary concern. Until this point in time, just 49 structures are recorded and numerous others are essentially destroyed for safety reasons (because of their faulty construction) or to pave an area new improvements. The tale of the Lincoln Hotel, a deserted 1916 Neo-Moorish structure, is descriptive of this encompassing carelessness.
In the midst of this circumstance, Casamémoire composes educational tour, happenings, and indications where local people of Casablanca gather to explore their city. “Les journées du Patrimoine” (legacy days), a 3-day occasion of free guided visits, is presently a yearly custom. The affiliation has likewise distributed a guide highlighting Casablanca’s diverse design styles and historic layers.
An ever-increasing number of individuals from Casablanca are getting to be mindful of the nature of their structural setting; however, progressively political commitment is required. Another improvement plan that moved Casablanca’ prime central avenue toward a pedestrian-friendly one and presented a platform for streetcars has given structures on this road an upgraded look, the same number of proprietors got involved with a façade reclamation program recommended by the latest strategy. Aficionados for architectural buildings are in any case, hanging tight for progressively auxiliary choices and activities that will concede a superior future to these structures.
Morocco: Casablanca, a remarkable architectural heritage but threatened
famous café and hotel “Excelsior” in Casablanca
Art Nouveau houses, colonial buildings, and Art Deco buildings, the architectural heritage of old Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, makes it a museum in the open, but it is threatened by negligence and real estate speculation.
On Boulevard Mohamed V, one of the oldest of “Casa”, the construction site of the future tramway, which will unclog the first metropolis of the Maghreb, does not prevent art lovers from admiring the architectural diversity of dozens of buildings dating, for the most part, from the beginning of the 20th century.
“One of the peculiarities of Casablanca is that it was, throughout the first half of the twentieth century, an architectural and urban laboratory, “said heritage defender of this mythical city.
“We can find buildings of the Art Nouveau style, buildings like the building, Maroc-Soir, behind us, made by the French architect Marius Boyer and which is of neo-Moorish style”.
Building for settlers in the 20s and 30s, then the local bourgeoisie, the international architects, mostly French, were inspired by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau currents in vogue in Europe, adding traditional Moroccan ornaments, zelliges, stucco or cedar wood carvings, creating an original style.
“The peculiarity of this medina is that it was inhabited by Muslims and Christians, besides the Jews of course, among the Christians there were Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, French … and also fishermen, artisans, masons, traders, “he explains.
Casablanca is called Dar el Baida (“White City”) by the Arabs, according to the name given to it by the Spaniards at the time of its construction at the beginning of the XIX century, on an older site.
But the architectural heritage of Casablanca is today threatened by destruction, abandonment and real estate speculation.
The apartments are often occupied by tenants who pay “derisory rents”, which range from 500 to 2,000 dirhams per month (45 to 180 euros), according to a member of Casamemoire. Neither the owners nor the tenants maintain the buildings that are degrading. You have to pay up to 50,000 euros to get the tenants away.
Preserving urban landscapes
The absence of a heritage preservation policy allows real estate developers and speculators to destroy old buildings and replace them with new, higher and more profitable buildings, or to add floors to old buildings at the expense of unity. architectural.
“Rebooting is done to the detriment of the heritage and the city,” said a member of Casamemoire, whose association wants Casablanca to be classified in UNESCO’s heritage “as soon as possible” to end the excesses, a task which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture.
But register with UNESCO “a recent heritage as is Casablanca, which dates back to the 20s, is more complicated than if it were an old city.”
“Moreover, as it is the economic capital, the Moroccan authorities may not want to adopt measures that could curb the economic dynamism and real estate activity” of the city, says the French architect.
One of the symbols of the threat to heritage is the Lincoln Hotel, an architectural jewel designed in 1916 by the French architect Hubert Bride a few meters from the central market.
Crumbling historic Lincoln Hotel in downtown Casablanca
The Arabesque Art Deco building was used by American spies during World War II.
Closed in 1989, the hotel fell into ruin twenty years later, arousing great excitement among the locals. According to news, the Lincoln, a 1917 Moorish-Deco attraction that had for quite some time been vacant and disintegrating, is being revamped as a five-star property.
“Casamémoire has identified some 4,000 old buildings to protect,” says a member of architect order in Casablanca, the young and energetic vice-president of this association.
“But for us, the problem is not so much to protect each building as to preserve a cityscape: there is no Eiffel Tower in Morocco, there are urban landscapes whose architectural harmony must be protected”, he nuance.
“We must act quickly, we warn against the dangers of speculation, there are buildings that are in a state of disrepair very advanced,” said another famous architect of Casablanca, recognizing however that local authorities are more in addition sensitive to this question.
“There are different seminars, different heritage roundtables, people from the urban agency, from the town hall attend (…) Now we ask for action, and we see very few, we do not see not enough yet, “he concludes.
CASABLANCA’S MUST-SEE ARCHITECTURAL SPOTS
A visitor can still get that explorer to feel when traveling in Casablanca. Commonly missed by voyagers regardless of being Morocco’s most crowded city, it’s a city of that will surprise curious wanderers, even those who get lost. Its verdant lanes are fixed with lavish colonial buildings, and its marketplace is loaded up with fortunes culled from old estates.
Art Nouveau houses, colonial buildings, and Art Deco buildings, the architectural heritage of old Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, makes it a museum in the open. It’s a haven for art and history lovers for admiring the architectural diversity of dozens of buildings dating, for the most part, from the beginning of the 20th century.
Appreciate Morocco’s Colonial Past
Jean-Louis Cohen, a prominent history specialist and co-author of the book Casablanca: Colonial Myths and Architectural Ventures stated that Casablanca was the most innovative of the considerable number of urban communities of France’s domain. It was spread out as indicated by an inventive arrangement, with lovely parks and stunning engineering, from late Art Nouveau and Art Deco to the present modern period.
Imperial Casablanca Hotel and Spa
Architect: Marius Boyer
Gradually, a large number of these once-dismissed sweets are being recovered and renovated. The milestone 1934 Shell building, on the central avenue Mohammed V, has been changed over into the lustrous Imperial Casablanca Hotel and Spa.
During the 1930s, the progression of Art Deco Style and the decorative profusion gave place to simplicity. At that moment, Shell, the renowned oil company, assigned Marius Boyer a world-famous architect to design what then became branded as the “Shell Building”. Architect of several buildings which includes the headquarters of the Wilaya, Boyer designs ad innovative project utilizing the techniques still uncommon even in Europe.
The modern and sleek building used as Shell’s head office since its construction in 1934, turned out as Casablanca’s main landmark. Throughout World War II, the building was seized by the American army ad headquarters to a lot of operations headed by Gen. Patton. Upon restoring peace, the building recognized by its Shell decors frequently welcomes HRH Queen of the Netherlands and her husband, unconsciously contributing to the fortune of this building, presented nowadays as a hotel by its new owners.
Currently, a 4 Star Boutique Hotel that is a World War II site and once served as General Patton’s headquarters, the Imperial opened in 2013, joining the fantastical Hôtel and Spa Le Doge, a six-year-old boutique property in a reestablished manor. Notable manors are being renewed as restaurants and exhibitions, and a reclamation of the old medina has started. Casamémoire, Morocco’s primary safeguarding association, which leads architectural visits, is initiating endeavors to have portions of Casablanca assigned as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bank Al-Maghrib building
Architect: Edmond Brion
Designed by Edmond Brion (1885-1973) and was completed in 1937, the Bank al-Maghrib located in on Blvd de Paris marks the limit between Casablanca’s civic government center and its Central Business District. As private sector patrons of grand architecture, the banks welcomed the spirit of the official neo-Moroccan style, and of the times. Several of their buildings were totally modern, with no orientation to the classic Orientalist or European styles.
Banque al-Maghrib’s façade puts on carved stone replacing tiles, a classic technique in neo-Moorish style. Its monumental door weighs 5 tons when opened and the art deco interior’s grandness is designed with zellij patterns in modern rose and blue hues. Italian marquetry is utilized to form Amazigh patterns in the board room of the building which signifies the flourishing Casablanca at that time.
Architect: Léonard Morandi
Located on the Boulevard de la Liberté, the Liberte residential tower is the work of the Swiss architect, Léonard Morandi. Designed in 1949, it became the highest residential tower in Africa when built (1949-1951). The Liberty building stands 78 meters (256 ft) tall in Casablanca, the 17 storey building is the symbol of resistance, freedom, and novelty.
First African building to exceed 16 floors at the time, the Liberty building was quickly renamed “17th floor” by the Casaouis.
Everything is done to keep the atmosphere of the 50s. From the decoration to the furniture, through the switch buttons, the visit of the building takes us back to the time when it was built.
Architect: Pierre Jabin
The brightly colored Art Deco theater cinema Rialto seen on rue Mohammed Quorri was built in the 1930s by Pierre Jabin and has an Art Deco red and white facades. The cinema, during that era, has played host to music legends like Josephine Baker and Edith Piaf. It was here that, in April 1943, Josephine Baker presented a recital to the American soldiers who came to Casablanca to help the allies.
It is said to be the most beautiful cinema in Casablanca with its typical 1930s art deco façade, its bright colors, the boldness of its skeleton and cupola in reinforced concrete, a hall with 1350 seats, a vast entrance hall, a sunroof, moldings, stained glass, and art deco lighting.
Hassan II Mosque
The city of Casablanca is home to the famous Hassan II Mosque, built by Michel Pinseau, a French architect. It is located on a promontory that looks directly to the Atlantic Ocean and can be seen through a giant glass floor with room for 25,000 faithful.
The staggering Hassan II Mosque is a standout amongst the most popular tourist spots in Casablanca. Built during the 90s, it honors the sixtieth birthday celebration of the nation’s previous king. One of the greatest mosques on the planet, the photogenic structure sits close by the coast. Even Non-Muslims can get inside at specific occasions of the day, enabling guests to respect the wonder both in and outside. It was constructed utilizing the best materials and the abilities of the absolute best craftsmen throughout the nation. Respect the dynamic tile work and carvings. In fact, it is a standout amongst the most alluring structures in the entire of Morocco and is frequently said to be a standout amongst the most amazing mosques in the whole world.
The Accomplishments behind Hassan II Mosque
One can’t in any way, edify such a significant landmark as The Hassan II Mosque without being entranced by the possibility of the flawlessness of structures. To reach this flawlessness, you will require, precision, reasonableness as well as the fertile the shock of indestructible cultures, the vastness of horizons, a taste for eternity, the experience obtained through hundreds of years and condensed in one moment, gathered on the charming spot where the work twinkles and emanates the modes and images of magnificence.
The Hassan II Mosque appears to come from the most personal understanding with the very nature of materials. The engineering they are typified into, the design drenching them vouch for the imaginative pressure which interweaves, at different scales, materials that were crushed to emanate all the light they can give.
Casablanca, presently known as the City of the Hassan II Mosque, accomplishes the profound established desire of imperial cities, in Morocco and elsewhere, to tell the Islam whose memory will live on forever in the human mind. This Islam is no longer today only the culture which passed on the compass, powder, irrigation methods, rational algebra, bright marbles. The Book of Songs, the Hanging Gardens or the legendary Quest of the Grail. It is first of all the religion which contributed to added to the liberation of man from his antique stupor. To declare these lights which anchor our history in our hopes, those that consolidate us in the solidify us in a hard time through a specific thought of the higher forgiveness.
The Hassan ll Mosque has its inherent qualities and those innate to its setting. Morocco, the land where Averroes, the missionary of tolerance and reason and where thousands of ingenious artists, kindled and educated by the Koran and by the Greeks’ geometry, artists all allured by polygonal developments, makers of the arabesques and so many other stylish qualities. They don’t interpret just the assets of a vast region, the long history, the sustained and enthusiastic exertion of several generations but express the high and popular determination as well. The mysterious and irresistible commitment to be present in the world, to mold history, to receive and give, to partake in a word the components that illustrate the stamped perseverance of the beings we are, dedicated to the creation and God, so limitlessly little in the endless space that is reminiscent of Him.
The Hassan II Mosque, launching from a rigorous faith, consecrates the renewal of Islamic arts, breaks with the visible world and multiplies the images of the immeasurable. Its dimensions are reminiscent of the infinite, of the sidereal distances that the strange sculptures of cathedrals strived to express. It embodies the peak of the sacred art of all times, sparkling on the edge of the immense water stretch.
It corresponds to the moment when the life of nations and history became more intense, united, and back one another to generate a significant action or a work of art. The Hassan II Mosque means to prove and suggest, through anti-phrases, and in relationship with a world where all decisive conflicts are mainly part of the invisible order, the origin of the desire to last in the challenge of the unshakable faith faced to the strained shapes of the wave, recurring and renewing forever. In this privileged situation, the action and the work of the creator of the Mosque seem to be intimately linked. This was tangible on that day of 11th Rabi Thani of the year 1414 of the Hegira corresponding to August 30th, 1993 in Casablanca when The Hassan II Mosque was solemnly dedicated by the Sovereign of Morocco.
The choice of the date is not fortuitous. It corresponds to the eve of the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that Muslims celebrate in worship shrines by the reading out of psalms invoking the glory of the Creator of Worlds and that of His Messenger.
The site of The Hassan Il Mosque is unique. It is expressive of today’s Morocco. Cities of various ages had already confirmed the continental bent of the Islamic civilization. And today, it looks to the sea that is shared with the neighbors of the north. of the south and of beyond the Atlantic. The structure built at the western tip of the Islamic world, fronting the sunset, the fog and the waves of the open sea is at the uttermost edge of a world that is born in the Orient and whose farthest west is Morocco. The Extreme Maghreb (al-Maghrib al-Aqsa in Arabic) generic name of Morocco, for which the land roads and sea roads stick out from the nights and seas that unite forever.
One would willingly say that this construction, whose foundation are soaked in the water and whose head is craning towards the sky represents the bright hope mounting from the Mediterranean Orient, from Athens and Ispahan, to be offered to the whole world. Hence its dimensions and especially its crystal clear a message whose significance is free from any ambiguity. The roots of its pillars, ceaselessly beaten by the waves of the Ocean have required the construction of an eight hundred meters long pier that did not give up to the unfurling tides until the end of works.
The Mosque, being a shrine of prayer and devotion, recalls, after 14 centuries, Oqba Ibn Nati, the man who spread the Islamic faith, who bridled his horse only when the latter reared and dipped its nostrils in the Atlantic waters. Oqba then dismounted and shouted, “Lord, had not it been for the ocean, I would have continued on Your path to preach Your unlimited word.” Islam, the word of peace, has at last acquired this sign of the exchanges of the spirit that is proper to it, according to Christopher Columbus.
The magisterial echo! The far-reaching echo heard throughout Casablanca and heard at a 30 km distance in the ocean! The day and night echo spread by a laser ray emitted by the minaret arrowhead, which indicates the qibla. The symbol of a unique mosque, all those that preceded it are part of a time that is indeed inspiring, but that does not provide a similar model.
The use of modern technology naturally imposed itself in this architecture rich in renewed forces as the only way to master a 9-hectare building, a place which, after 7 years of sustained work, was to yield a prayer hall that can welcome more than 25 thousand devotees; a hall supported by 78 pillars were granite, marble, and onyx harmoniously interlace and cross their gleams. A huge hall capped with ceilings all wrapped with emerald green tiles. The green, the natural color in the land of Islam symbolizes goodness and spiritual abundance.
The technological feats were carried very far to help the building industry better and the Moroccan handicraft in a centuries-old experience, knowingly renewed. Handicraft alone has superbly revived because of the most modern ingenuity. The one and the other proving sometimes failing before the scope or the requirements dictated by originality. A lot of innovations were made that the world’s tallest crane was specially manufactured to achieve the heightening of the minaret that is topped by a skylight and by a Jamour made of shining copper — culminating at 200m. The concrete was made four times more resistant than necessary, not to consolidate the euro tunnel under the English channel but to erect a genuinely unique minaret.
Mahkama Pasha of Casablanca
Architect: Auguste Cadet
The court was built in 1929 by Auguste Cadet, for Muslims, after he had finished building the Habous district. The Mahkama building, located in Quartier des Habous in Rue Ahmed El Figuigui is open for visitors, is an excellent city palace which took from 1941to 1952, of over a decade to be completed.
It’s very much unique. Constructed on a slope, it looks like it towers over the Habous neighborhood. A person can get access to it by means of very large gate portals. It is articulated around a large courtyard and two patios.
Inside, the traditional arts of ornamentation have been taken over: carved cedar ceilings, stuccoed arches, zeliges frescoes, water features, Andalusian style garden. Sophisticated architecture, Hispano style -Mauresque, that we will take the time to contemplate in detail.
Architect: BOUSQUET, Pierre
Many consider Marché Central as Casablanca’s center, the open-air marketplace in the center of the Art Deco quarter. In this place, antique vendors crowd with food shops.
In 1914, it was decided to move the municipal market then located on the former Place de France (United Nations Square). The new location is the one occupied for two months by the French-Moroccan Exhibition of 1915 wanted by Marshal Lyautey to promote the country’s economic potential.
Casablanca’s main market and get a taste of local culture. The low and bare building takes the traditional style of the markets of southern Morocco. On a quadrilateral with a continuous front, it is punctuated with shops under the arcades along Boulevard Mohammed V.
Marche Central is a charming market with vibrant colored stalls that sell local Moroccan crafts along with a myriad of fresh produce, fish, and shellfish caught daily on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Morocco along with other daily items. Inside, the central covered body is surmounted by a large rotunda which houses the fish merchants. The inner street that surrounds it is lined with shops. Freshness and ventilation are provided by traditional zellijs fountains and narrow, closed openings of cement moucharabieh.
Marche Central has an exotic spice market and is a popular place where Casablancans’ dine locally outdoors. Eight accesses allow you to cross it in all directions. The main entrance has been recently highlighted by carved framing and green and yellow zellijs panels.
Notre Dame de Lourdes
Architect: Achille Dangleterre
Highlighting a high roof, white facade, a lengthened form, and a rare shaped frontage, Casablanca’s Notre Dame de Lourdes was built in 1954 by Achille Dangleterre and engineer Gaston Zimmer and is the second church of Casablanca. It is a great example of European modern structure, and the colorful stained glass is an outstanding contrast to the light walls.
The massive building of Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Casablanca, Morocco, holds an imposing white concrete facade and a basic white cross is the mere indication of its purpose. The primary attraction for those visiting is the stunning stained glass windows, the work of a famous French artist, Gabriel Loire. They are cut on a red and blue colored background, similar to a classic Moroccan carpet, and represent various images of the Virgin Mary.
The real spectacular stained glass windows of the cathedral are what take the attention of everyone. The open, airy interior is lightening up by the vibrant beams of light that filter through these stained glass windows which fills up both side walls – giving a window surface area of over 800 sq.m (8600 sq. ft.)
Port of Casablanca
Standing for more than a hundred years, the port of Casablanca located 80 km southwest of Rabat is an infrastructure that has always played an important role in foreign trade and contributed to the development of the White City.
Casablanca’s port developed and in 1916, engineer Perret built the docks. By the time the Lafarge company cement work started producing in the vicinity known as Roches Noires, the poor working class quarter named Carrières Centrales developed along with it.
Royal Palace of Casablanca
The Royal Palace of Casablanca serves as the King’s official city residence. A grand complex, visitors can, unfortunately, only admire the outer gate and walls. The ornate gate gives you a glimpse of the grandeur that lies beyond. Colorful, opulent and displaying fine details, it’s still worth stopping to see the entrance to the palace even though you can’t go inside.
Architect: Adrien Laforgue
Casablanca’s primary postal office situated on Place Mohammed V, the Grande Poste was built by Architect Adrien Laforgue in 1918 during the French colonial period.
The entrance’s colorful tile work welcomes visitors to the still functioning neo-Moorish central post office, inspired by the central post office in Algiers. The medallions on the building’s exterior serve as a reminder of Casablanca’s essence in advancements of airmail. Whereas the outside is impressive, check out its interiors and you can see the original Art Deco design.
Wilaya clock tower
Architect: Marius Boyer
Still another stylish structure located at the edge of Place Mohammed V designed by Marius Boyer and was finished in 1927. The beautiful Wilaya is a government headquarters, built between 1927 and 1936. Formerly Hotel de Ville or City Hall, Wilaya’s most imposing element is the original Art Deco clock tower.
Walk in and the architecture takes an Arab-Andalusian vibe wherein, from under the arches, local admin officials’ offices oversee a fountain and central patio. Adding also a streamlined interior, massive stair, exterior touch of Venetian style and a modern clock tower, and you have a structure that is a testament to Casablanca’s inventive architectural heritage.
Wilaya is set surrounding 3 garden courts. Paintings by Majorelle (1859-1926) displayed in its marble staircases. Staterooms on its grand upper floor cover the mayor’s office (at the time) and the Hall of Honor, somewhere the mayor conducts civil marriages.
The Sacre-Coeur Cathedral (Casablanca Cathedral)
former Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Architect: Paul Tournon
Built-in 1930 is an architectural masterpiece designed by French architect Paul Tournon, the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral located in Blvd Rachidi is Neo-Gothic in style with Moroccan Muslim and Art Deco influences. The two towers flanking west front is similar to square minarets, and the tiny windows that pierce the cathedral’s upper portion would be at home in any mosque. The outer buttresses alongside the roof have sharp right angles in place of the usual curves.
It’s among Casablanca’s architectural masterpieces. The cathedral was an important landmark in Casablanca during French Catholic rule. After the independence of Morocco in 1956, the Cathedral ceased its religious function and was abandoned. It has since been used as a school, a cultural center and now it hosts exhibitions and fairs.
Palais de Justice
Architect: Joseph Marrast
The nearby Palais de Justice (Court House/ Tribunal de Premiere Instance), built by Joseph Marrast, was completed in 1925, has an enormous facade on the square, with a Moroccan flag on top and grand central portal that leads to two columned galleries on the main ground.
Its huge main entrance, with its stucco and tile detailing, was inspired by the Persian iwan, a vaulted hall that opens into the central court of the medersa (school) of a mosque. Palais de Justice is surrounded by palm trees and elaborate style courtyards.
Architect: Marius Boyer
Located at 22 Rue Abdel Krim Diouri, Hotel Volubilis is one of the beautiful examples of Casablanca’s Art Deco legacy with its recessed balcony, burnished-gold detailing and art nouveau signage. The modest-sized Hotel Volubilis is among Marius Boyer’s first projects when he arrived in Morocco a year earlier.
It is contemporary with Edmond Gourdain’s neighboring hotel “Transatlantique.” It recognizes the writing of Mr. Boyer in the advances framing the arch of the semicircular loggia with four bays on two floors. Above, on the third floor, a pergola of wood granted to green tile roofs, sketches an image of traditional architecture, while the whole decoration of the facade is similar to the Art Nouveau.
The name of the hotel in relief is inscribed in the central arch on a background of the mosaic of blue sandstone, and a carved stone frieze underlines the windows on both sides of the pergola.
The hotel “renovated” four years ago was raised two floors, and decor of fake stones cover the ground floor.
In 1922, when several large hotels were built in the center, Marius Boyer built the Atlas Hotel, Khouribga Boulevard, with 180 rooms, of neoclassical architecture, transformed into apartments.
Architect: Hippolyte-Joseph Delaporte
In the city center, not far from the medina, the famous Excelsior is an old building that has become one of the most popular cafés by the “bobos” of Casablanca, a very mixed city of more than five million inhabitants, hardly recognizable for the nostalgic of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
It was the finest hotel in Casablanca when it opened in 1916 and was the first of the milestones built outside the Casablanca Medina.
The architecture of the Excelsior is sober but subtle: the facade of this café, built by the French architect Hippolyte-Joseph Delaporte in 1916 with the company Coignet, by order of the Grand Vizier Haj Omar Tazi, among a series of buildings currently representing the chronology of the building Casablanca.
The hotel is painted with lime and decorated with green Andalusian zelliges dating back almost a century, with its white marble steps and lobby whose wood-lined ceiling is reflected in a mosaic floor. With its facade that evokes the old buildings of Algeria and Tunisia, its brewery has made him the place of choice merchants and merchants who arrived in the city in the early twentieth century, looking for a business. The reinforced concrete building is covered with semicircular arches (inner curve of a vault), lines of green tiles and azulejos tiles, in addition to concrete guardrails with arched windows, adorned with eight-pointed stars.
The Excelsior was built in front of the main portal of the medina of Casablanca, an old city where “several religions and nationalities” coexisted.
Today, the Excelsior hotel is still one of the favorite destinations of foreigners calling in the megalopolis and despite an early abandonment at the entrance, the place is still cherished by its regulars of yesteryear.
El Glaoui building
Designed by Marius Boyer in 1922, the Glaoui building is located in Rue El-Amraoui Brahim on Mohammed V boulevard
San Buenaventura Church of Casablanca
From the late eighteenth century until 1907, the largest foreign community in Casablanca consists of Spaniards. It is the sector of port activity that was favored by these enterprising Spanish, who undertook the repair of boats, the handling and the export of cereals through various companies such as Compania Los Cinco Gremios Mayores de Madrid, Casa Espanola de Dar Beyda (Cadiz), etc.
Aware of the importance of this community and the dynamic role it played in the local economy, Sultan Moulay Hassan 1 st decided to graciously grant the King of Spain the land of the rue de Tangier, in the old medina: it is there that, in 1891, will be raised the church, San Buenaventura of the Franciscans.
With the Ettedgui Synagogue and the Ould el Hamra Mosque, the San Buenaventura Church is the third pillar of what is known as the “monotheistic triangle”: note that this building is the only Christian church we have identified in the old medina of Casablanca (intra muros).
Quaint church with a tiled rooftop, an airy domed sanctuary & arabesque stained-glass windows.
Al Qods Mosque
Architect: Eugène Lendrat
In the neighborhood of Roches Noires in Casablanca and near the garden Al-Qods stands not the only Gothic Mosque in the world. At first glance, the construction hardly looks like a mosque, its Gothic architecture, its Latin cross plan, its tower surmounted by a stone spire and surrounded by four pinnacles make believe that it is a church, besides it was until the early 1980s, before being transformed into a place of worship for Muslims, today it is called the Al-Quds Mosque.
This Gothic church was built in the late 1920s by Eugène Lendrat, in memory of his mother named Marguerite. It is a replica of the Church Saint-Martin de Pau, built in 1868 by the architect Boeswillwald.
In the early 1920s and with the aim of making it the economic capital of Morocco, the city of Casablanca saw the beginning of its development and its transformation into an industrial city. At that time, a large European community came to settle in the district of Roches Noires, the old district industrial Casablanca.
The increase in the Christian population of the neighborhood created the need for a place of worship, so that Eugene Lendrat, the main developer of the Roches Noires district at the time, decided to build a church at his own time, fresh and on one of his lands. Lendrat took as a model for his project the church of Saint-Martin de Pau, his hometown. St. Margaret’s Church was inaugurated in December 1929 in memory of the mother of its founder.
Indeed, Lendrat hails from this city. The plan is a Latin cross, with a bell tower at the entrance to the nave, on the Westside. The Tower, on three levels, is topped by a stone arrow whose base is surrounded by four octagonal spires and four gargoyles at dog head (now mutilated). On three sides of the Tower, at the top of the first floor, was a clock. The porch arch broken gives access to the main entrance: the Portal including the Archway are extended by small columns with acanthus leaves tent, reveals, in the tympanum, a representation of what was to be a Christ the King.
After the death of Eugène Lendrat in 1931, a problem of transfer of ownership of the church is needed and remains unresolved for several decades. In the early 1970s and following the departure of a large part of the European population who lived in Casablanca, the Sainte Marguerite church was emptied and coveted to serve other purposes. In 1981, the church was finally ceded to Ain-Sebaa commune, which turned it into the Al-Quds mosque.
The transformation of the Sainte Marguerite church into a mosque has left many questions, the study of its history allowed to answer some without revealing everything. At present, the appearance of the monument has changed slightly, its vocation also, this did not prevent him from remaining a witness of the protectorate period in Morocco.
Carmel Saint Joseph School
Carmel Saint Joseph School, founded for the French in 1937 by the Carmelite Sisters, is located in a residential area called “l’oasis” surrounded by palmiers and green spaces.
It is located in one of the oldest districts of Casablanca: the Oasis which is the extension of Maarif extension, located between Hay Hassani and Maarif. It holds its name thanks to the presence of beautiful palm trees that give it all the charm of a very quiet residential area.
Operation: At the time, the school had a primary cycle and a second cycle with a boarding school which was closed as well as the secondary school before the departure of the Carmelite nuns.
In 1979, the sisters of the Holy Hearts took over. At the handover, the school had 750 mixed students, almost all of the Moroccan.
St. John’s Church
St. John’s was the first Protestant church established in Casablanca. It was built in 1906. It is the oldest church building in use in Casablanca and one of the historical buildings in the city. It is built on land owned by the British Crown.
Throughout the Second World War, many people from the American Service personnel based in Casablanca attends to St. John. Maj. Gen. George Patton, who regularly attends at St. John’s, gave the pulpit in honor of the people who passed away in this area during WWII. When General Patton died, his family gave the carved frontage for the communion table St. John’s. A lot of devotees turn up to see these historical items.
St. John’s Anglican Church is a thriving English-speaking church in the heart of downtown Casablanca. Built in 1906, it is the oldest operating church building in Casablanca and one of the few official places of Christian worship in the city. Although regular attendees hail from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, a third of the congregation now comes from sub-Saharan Africa. Services are conducted in English, but between services, the church grounds are filled with conversation in a wide variety of tongues.
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition also called The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is located at Eglise Russe, 13 rue de Blida in Casablanca. Built by the first wave of Russian immigrants and their families in 1958 was fighting the demolition of a church in economical capital of Morocco – Casablanca. It is one of the only two Russian Orthodox churches in Morocco
Temple Beth El Synagogue
Address: 67, Rue Jaber ben Hayane
Visit Temple Beth-El, the Jewish Synagogue in Casablanca. Beth-El is considered the centerpiece of a once vibrant Jewish community. Its stained glass windows and other artistic elements is what attracts tourists to this synagogue.
Beth El or “Beit El”, also called the Algerian Temple, is also the venue where the Jewish community celebrates their religious events.
With its stained glass windows, giant chandeliers and its unique architecture, made of white and gilded plaster, the synagogue is among the city’s best tourist attractions. The temple was completely refurbished in 1997.
The entrance of the famous restaurant Cafe La SQALA
To really understand Casablanca, you have to know the medina, the spot where the seed of the city fell long ago. Marrakech gate is the best entrance, with its impressive clock tower. There are no dependable maps but, with a little twist and turn, you may find your way to an ancient Portuguese fortress that dates back into the old city.
Marked by great iron cannons pointing out to sea, the bastion is known as La Sqala. It’s a restaurant now, offering exceptional cuisine from all corners of Morocco and known for its salads and fish tagines.
The entrance of the Café Maure de La Sqala, a restaurant built in the gardens within the old city wall in Casablanca, in front of the port and at the edge of the old medina.
Casablanca is one of those exceptional gems, a spot with unending intertwined layers. There has been a colossal push by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to make it a genuine culture destination. Indeed, the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca, set in the multiuse Norman Foster–structured Anfa Place, is another indication of the city’s rising profile and its quickly improving lodging choices.
Right down the Corniche from the Four Seasons is Cabestan Ocean View, a 1927 standby seafood restaurant that is a most loved of both American Madison Cox, who lives in Tangier, and Paris-based entertainer Gad Elmaleh, who experienced childhood in Casablanca. Locals here, for the most part, recommend heading off to this sort of reliable spot. Artbook distributer Malika Slaoui, for instance, suggests Sqala Café Maure, offering tagines and grillades in a revamped stronghold, and the old-school French spot Le Rouget de l’Isle.
Architect: Wolfgang Ewerth
Nestled on the hill of Anfa Superior Casablanca, the beautiful building, which belongs to Prince Moulay Ismaïl, opens its doors until June 7, the time of a collision mounted in three days and which is finally only a pretext to discover the iconic villa Casablanca. A real architectural experimental space, this villa was designed by German architect Wolfgang Ewerth in 1962. ”
Made in the tradition of Muslim architecture, space is adorned with stucco and carved wood. Upstairs, we change the atmosphere and architectural language. With large openings that overlook the ocean or the garden, the different rooms are communicating. The architect was particularly unleashed on the two bathrooms (one in yellow and the other in pink). Designed in the American style and in blue, the kitchen is hidden.
Established in Casablanca between 1954 and 1975, Wolfgang Ewerth signed this circular jewel at a time when the city of Casablanca had become an avant-garde laboratory in architecture.
Architect: Marius Boyer
The original Hotel Anfa, wherein the 1943 Casablanca conference among De Gaulle, Roosevelt, and Churchill presided is now an apartment compound. In 1938, the “Anfa Hotel”, style liner, is built on the hill of Anfa. This last establishment is the witness of a big page of History. It is in its walls that takes place, in January 1943, the famous conference called Anfa, bringing together Roosevelt, Churchill and de Gaulle. It was in this mythic place that the fate of the Second World War was sealed, since it was at that moment that important strategic decisions were made that enabled the Allies to win the war. The reasons for the unfortunate and untimely destruction of the hotel in the 1970s remain mysterious. This historic site could very well have been transformed into a museum. However, Morocco, at the time freshly independent, was not aware of the interest of this heritage and the enormous benefits it would have to preserve it.
Residence and Statue of Louis Hubert Gonsalves Lyautey
Architect: Adrien Laforgue
The bronze equestrian statue was created by Francois Cogné in 1938 and stands in front of the then Residence of General Lyautey and now Consulate of France in 1, rue Prince Moulay Abdallah. The horse is fine and racy, his neck shows the tension of the muscles. His four feet are on the ground; at orders, the flange is released. Svelte and unarmed, Marshal Lyautey salutes the starry staff received in 1921.
A French Army general and colonial administrator, Louis Hubert Gonsalve Lyautey was born in 1854. He was Morocco’s first French Resident-General to serve from 1912 to 1925. He served for a moment as Minister of War in 1917 then became a Marshal of France in 1921. Gen. Lyautey is thought to have been a fitting colonial administrator who sought to balance blunt military force and advocated a vision of a better future for Morocco under the French colonial administration.
Villa Sami Suissa
Architect: ZEVACO, Jean-François
The villa, often cited in international architecture journals, (Villa Papillon) due to cantilevered balcony and canopy, this three-bedroom house displays an interesting mix of the Parisian bourgeois arrangement of domestic programs and innovative formal vocabulary reminiscent of Brazilian lyric Modernism. This villa, designed in 1947 by the architect Jean-François Zevaco is located in the axis of a triangular plot, on the edge of the residential district of Anfa, overlooking the city, is quickly nicknamed “the pagoda” and “villa butterfly”.
The quality of locksmiths, sash guillotine lounges, monumental French windows, and grilles, is due to Ateliers Vincent Timsit. The hall, with its black marble floor, serves the reception rooms with sliding glass partitions. In its center, like a sculpture, the first flight of stairs leading upstairs is framed by glass railings held by bronze pieces.
The plan of the house somewhat rigid, since functions are clearly delineated: all common spaces are placed on the first floor private spaces on the second floor, and servant quarters the basement. Surprisingly both this partitioning and the domestic nature of the house did not impede its transformation into the multipurpose public program.
The reconversion of the villa into an elegant restaurant-tea room (Patisserie Paul) resulted in the addition of two glazed spaces under the balconies, and the leveling of the garden initially sloping gently towards a pool in a semicircle.
Australian architect Andy Martin transformed the house in 2004 into a gastronomic emporium, including a bakery, a pâtisserie, tea lounge, restaurant, a bar, event space and an exhibition hall. The clear partitions of the initial villa facilitated the inclusion and juxtaposi- tion of these eclectic programmes: the café is on the first floor, services in the servant quarters and the extended basement and the restaurant on the second floor. Additional spaces were added to fit the remaining programmes: two 100 square meters wings were placed on either side of the main body of the house to accommodate the patisserie on one side and the cocktail bar on other. The additions are built using slate walls reclaimed by the architect from demolished parts of the original villa, was constructed from this material, which is native to the coast of Casablanca.
The large garden of the house allowed also for a fluid integration of the new programme. The entire grounds were indeed re-landscaped while responding to the geometry of the house: all exterior seating, pergolas, and planting follow the radius of the villa’s curved facade. The original circular shape of the pool is kept, yet it is transformed into a kiosk and below it, a multipurpose event space and exhibition hall are placed underground.
Several elements in this villa allowed for its commodification for leisure purposes. The location a corner of two major arteries, which at the time was referred to as “fit for a gas station rather than a house”4 coupled with an extroverted façade has permitted an easy switch from the realm of the private to that of the public. The care that Andy Martin took to respect the original vocabulary of the house, such as the use of monochromatic, neutral fones and of original materials, has preserved the identity of the Villa Suissa.
Architect: Marius Boyer
At the end of the 1920s, Boyer inaugurated here a radically new register among the productions of his contemporaries.
The construction of this building in 1928 by architect Marius Boyer, inaugurates the modern movement that will characterize the 30s. Perceived as a strong trend of the modern architecture Casablanca, it takes the concept of the building
By removing the continuous front of the alignment and the inner courtyard, it offers facades with “Bauhaus” accents dug above the canopy of the ground floor, creating four courses open on the tracks.
By successive residents to the heart of the island, they allow lighting all the rooms of the 45 apartments distributed by a circular staircase. This one benefits from the natural light through the service stairs whose facades, at the back of the course, are constituted, on 7 floors, of metallic panels ventilated by horizontal slats.
The only access is Ferhat Hachad street through monumental steps paneled in marble.
Encircling one of the open courtyards, two towers, connected to the 5th and 6th floor by a bridge with impeccable execution, dominate the crossroads of Ferhat Hachad Street, Avenue Lalla Yacout.
This mastered set is certainly one of the most spectacular downtowns.
Architect: Marius Boyer
The Asayag Building was the embodiment of present-day urban living. Marius Boyer, the ehe architect, got rid of the damp interior yards slash light wells that encapsulated thick urban squares. His Asayag apt. building ascended as three towers. The stairway at the focal point of each is intended to be lit and ventilated normally. Sadly, the mechanical device important to work these detailed arrangements of glass louvers has not been kept up. Shabby it might be, the Asayag Building must at present be a fantastic spot to live. The penthouses at the highest point of the towers start on the eighth floor and ascend in porches two extra floors. Condos in this and different alliances were planned with another customer base in view, the youthful upwardly-versatile single individual or a childless couple. They were not intended for families. They had open staggering designs and extended in size from studios to multistory penthouses. In that capacity, inhabitants may have autos, the Asayag, and other enormous lofts obstruct in the focal neighborhoods had underground stopping in the storm cellar.
The Attijariwafa Building (originally the Banque Commerciale du Maroc) was built by Marius Boyer in 1930.
Church of Christ the King
Villa des Arts
Constructed in 1934, Villa Des Arts, is a historical building and among Casablanca’s leading structures of Art Deco Architecture. Villa Des Arts is part of the ONA Foundation built to support the arts. It offers rotating exhibitions and has a permanent collection.
The “Villa des Arts” is situated inside a lavish Art Deco mansion from the 1930s. Admire the building’s exteriors before stepping inside to appreciate the works of modern art.
Villa Des Arts is among the standout private institutions of its kind in the whole of the Muslim world. It’s built as one of Casablanca’s biggest museums, and the first private one in Morocco. Located between peaceful Arab League Park and the Mäarif quarter, the sublime building is home to several exhibitions featuring works of contemporary Moroccan artists. In recent years, it has developed the space into a full-blown museum of modern art. The museum highlights an astounding 800 works of art in permanent exhibitions, along with temporary exhibits per year by both local and international and contemporary artists. The Villa Des Arts is also a part of the ONA Foundation, one of Morocco’s primary cultural foundations. The Foundation’s primary aim is to promote creativity and culture within the country. A sample of pure art deco style it was expertly refurbished in 2006. All year round it presents a mix of concerts, exhibits, and cultural events to Casablanca residents and to visitors alike.
L’hôtel Central (Central Hotel)
The Central Hotel, a building turned into a hotel in 1912, is located in front of the Porte de la Marine, the only door that opens onto the sea. This location reminds us that Casablanca is a city facing the sea and to Europe. From inside the hotel, with its balconies and bay windows, you can see the ocean. The Mediterranean style of its architecture is witness to the development of trade with the Spaniards. Currently, this hotel has kept its function and remains one of the most interesting buildings of the old medina.
Architect: Hubert Bride
Built-in 1917 by French architect Hubert Bride, this is one of Casablanca’s architectural Art Deco gems that is in ruins yet has a charming façade worth visiting. Occupied by homeless people, there were several attempts to restore and rehabilitate the Lincoln Hotel or the Bessonneau building. Finally, a much-awaited makeover will soon be realized as French group REALITIES International will be the company to oversee its restoration after winning the last call for expression of interest, launched by the Urban Agency of Casablanca. The legendary Casablanca hotel where only part of the original facade remains standing came to symbolize the Art Deco era that shaped several buildings in the heart of Morocco’s economic capital. Five Star Hotel Coming Soon: On the surface of 9,500 square meters of the Lincoln Hotel, REALITIES will develop 2,000 square meters of shops and offices. The remaining 7,500 square meters will offer 124 five-star hotel rooms, as well as a restaurant, swimming pool, all with a rooftop. The preservation of the hotel’s facade entails a lot of hard work and takes a good amount of money to restore, but must be a priority and REALITIES accepted the challenge. According to reports, an estimated amount of 150 million dirhams or roughly 14M euros is the budget for the entire renovation which is set to completed by 2022.
Built in 1909, this 3-star hotel located in the vicinity of Notre Dame de Lourdes and merely 5-minute drive of Place Mohammed V and Hassan II Mosque. Hotel Guynemer, named after the First World War French air ace has 29 guest rooms and charming Art Deco façade and interior, featuring a Moroccan architecture.
Built-in 1922 and named after a shipping company, Transatlantique, this is one of Casablanca’s architectural gems designed by Edmond Gourdain. He belongs to the first wave of architects of the colonial period. Also at the origin of the hotel Transatlantique, he realizes twenty buildings in Casablanca until the 1950s.
Aérographe de Tit Mellil (Terminal of Tit-Mellil)
Nothing better than this monument illustrates the creative freedom shown by post-war architects. Built in 1953 by Jean François Zevaco, the air terminal, with its raw concrete structure associated with its white walls, breaks with the architectural tradition of public buildings built until then.
Architect: Pierre Jabin
Overlooking the United Nations Square with its eleven floors, the building built by Pierre Jabin, inaugurated in 1934 the construction in height in the city center. The luxury of the building lies less in its facade marked by the large vertical and horizontal lines of its bow windows than in the quality of its equipment, or the number of its elevators.
This building was long alone to dominate the place of the top of its eleven floors. It foreshadowed the high-rise buildings planned for the 1930s at the entrance to the so-called “Business District”, but one of the main roads, the current Avenue des FAR, has only been opened. in 1952. It is on this date and in a clear environment, that the building will take all its value.
Above the ground floor housing shops and three access halls, three registers develop on the height of the facade corresponding to different typologies of apartments.
The horizontal bands that mark the balconies stretch as one climbs the floors to become a continuous gallery at the coronation.
The entrance hall of Avenue Houphouët-Boigny combines marbles and mirrors to create a very cinematic atmosphere.
Moretti and Milone, associate cousins, are among the entrepreneurs of Italian origin who will form generations of maalems to which we owe the exemplary execution of buildings Casablanca.
Architect: Edmond Gourdain
In 1923, Societe Generale purchased the building of 84, boulevard Mohammed-V. The structure was among the modern city’s first buildings. Similar to many of its contemporaries, its design adapts the neo-Moorish style which was famous in Tunisia and Algeria back in the 1920s. The construction blends in classic tastes as well as features of traditional Islamic architecture formerly utilized primarily in interior design.
These elements include arched windows, interlacing, and cornices borrowed from classical Islamic arts, as well as green glazed tiles that characterize places of administrative, economic and religious nature.
Societe Generale transferred from Rue des Consuls’ Casablanca branch, where it had used from the time it first came to Morocco in 1913 and transferred on to its new home on Boulevard Mohammed V. The company, therefore, acquired a remarkable building built by Edmond Gourdain, the architect who also designed Transatlantique hotel.
As it desires to support in the preservation of Art Deco architectural heritage of the historic city center, Societe Generale Maroc rebuilt the Bank’s past head offices while preserving the facade of the building.
The building stands on four floors and has a surface area of 3,126 square meters. Keeping in mind the progressive state of oxidation of its metal beams, which implied that it’s impossible to restore the floors, Societe Generale has opted for the only known solution, which is to fully rebuilt the structure while it implements inventive solutions that enable the façade of the building to be preserved, being part of the architectural heritage of Casablanca.
It accommodated the headquarters of Societe Generale Maroc before the bank moved out again in 1979 to Boulevard Abdelmoumen.
Casablanca Chamber of Commerce and Industries
A splendid example of how the French people are preserving the Moorish atmosphere by adhering the Moorish lines in all modern things. The Casablanca Chamber of Commerce building along Boulevard Mohamed V located in the city center, with its arcades under which shops and restaurants abound for almost 2 km.
Developed by a former U.S. attaché in Morocco, Kathy Kriger, Rick’s Café Casablanca is a famous restaurant that was constructed in 1930 and is set inside a conventional impressive Moroccan mansion with a Riad or central courtyard. The lot’s layout allows for 3 facades: a port-oriented facade that gazes at the Atlantic; a unique front street entrance with heavyweight wood doors that present that of the movie; and tight dead-end access which was the main entrance in the past and today serves as the entrance service.
Due to the structure’s age and nearness to the ocean, the mansion was fully renovated and restored by Bill Willis, a U.S. architect/designer envisioned the architectural and decorative features which enriched the existing balustrades and arches to evoke the Hollywood movie “Casablanca.” Elaborate antique brass floor and table lamps with metal shades laced with beads radiate sensational mood light, and a specially designed brass lamp with beaded shade created by Bill Willis rests per table. Etched and engraved wooden tables, screens, and chairs from Syria add decorative touches suggestive of the movie’s furniture.
Added to the faithful rendering of the decoration in Casablanca, Rick’s Café today is filled with woodwork and tile that very well represent Morocco’s craft industry. The fireplace is made of engraved marble or painted tadelakt with complex zellige tile patterns highlighting the risers of the center stairs. Tadelakt in soft hues cover walls tall over the dining place, and the grounds are fixed in handmade terracotta tile.
It was the largest cinema to be built in North Africa.
The VOX was opened on December 12, 1935, at a time when transformation is happening to existing theaters. New theaters were created which became a great move for development of cinema exploration. Casablanca followed the movement, especially since it corresponded to the need for artistic renewal, a normal reflection of the development.
During the summer season, the Vox Cinema only screened unpublished films and made very satisfactory weekly offerings. The public, attracted by a judicious advertisement, never sulks the beautiful films, and it is wrong to underestimate sometimes its degree of artistic comprehension. It is also wrong to believe that a film dubbed, by definition, cannot fill a room.
The largest in cinema to be built in Casablanca, the largest in Morocco and one of the largest in North Africa. The designers of its building and its architect, Mr. Boyer, to whom the city already owed the very good municipal services, sought to make of it abroad, the welcoming center of the desirable importance. From the start, what strikes you is the new design of the easy accesses: an entrance hall which contains the glass cases, the controls, in the middle of which the public moves easily and without smoothly. On the left in this hall, the entrance of a massive lift that transports every three minutes thirty-five people to the highest and cheapest places. A staircase that soon divides from the hall to the upper floors. The hall is majestic with a 7-meter panel and a bay window that goes up to the first floor adds to the perspective curves. There are 2000 comfortable armchairs in the room, large padded, covered with a material of easy maintenance Three stages: an orchestra descends very gently to the orchestra pit, large enough for thirty musicians; a mezzanine whose first two rows are clubs; Finally, a higher floor, a huge balcony, with a daring slope, has been specially designed so that the less affluent population can benefit at reduced prices of a perfect comfort, as well as the happiest of this world.
The decorator thought precisely that one draws much more interesting effects from the light alone, than from any ornament: it is thus that all the lighting is indirect, the brightness of lamps or chandeliers does not come to hurt the eye. and the effect of the brightness gradually light up and change colors on each side of the scene is a wonderful decorative element. Each floor corresponds to a home. For the 2000 spectators it was necessary to make vast clearances: the hearths are immense, admirably illuminated and airy. They overlook loggias on each side of the building. In short, the necessary relaxation the intermission of the show here is real and effective Finally, an innovation in Morocco: the open sky realized through the dome opening in two parts in the middle. It is thanks to this that the show became possible in Casablanca in summer: it is cooler at VOX by the warmest parties than in any perfectly airy place. The building also has a very nice power station, installed by Hamelle Establishments with three National motors.
The conclusion that the visitor draws from a walk in all the services of this beautiful Casablanca room is that the efforts made for its construction were in every respect crowned with success. The concern for the comfort of the spectators is seen at every step. The question of hygiene, so important in North Africa, has not less caught the attention of the architect: he designed large mosaic surfaces, easily washable with large water, and everything at VOX is perfectly airy and lighted
The VOX also gives great stage performances, music-hall, theater, attractions, orchestra, etc., and this thanks to the admirably understood arrangements of the vast and well-equipped stage. Without going to the ease that would offer a turntable, the most complicated maneuvers are possible thanks to the dimensions of the stage.
Finally, there are certainly few theaters in the province that possess the equipment in ramps, harrows, projectors of all categories and all powers so complete. Since May 1936, the VoX has continued to increase the success it finds among the population of Casablanca. It was, however, closed in 1979 with Bruce Lee in “The Big Boss” and was demolished.
The Modern Casablanca Morocco
The city of Casablanca was given its much-deserved spotlight in the film similar to the city’s name featuring Hollywood star Humphrey Bogart. The place’s actual establishment was in 1906 and had a populace of roughly 20,000 individuals. At present, the city prides its populace of more than 4 million and, as the main reflection of the Kingdom of Morocco, it takes after a Southern European city more than whatever remains of the urban areas in the nation itself. Casablanca is presumably the most liberal and dynamic of the greater part of Morocco’s urban areas and it is normal to see young ladies clad in branded products and men brandishing suit, ties, and satchels.
Otherwise called Dar el Baida or just Casa, the city of Casablanca is the capital city of Morocco. It is the primary passageway and exit for most travel guests to the nation, whether coming from Europe or the United States of America. With a lot of spots to settle on any budget plan inside and around the city, guests will discover it a great vacation spot that includes some shopping, food adventures, a lot of nightlife and a considerable measure of unwinding.
The modern Casablanca is the country’s center in all means except ceremonial. The booming city is the nation’s biggest, with a populace running to 4 million, the dominant part of whom are just first or second era occupants. Casa, as the city is famously called, is the new city, having developed from a little town with less than a thousand populations just 150 years back. The pilgrims are coming even up to present, drawn by the desire for finding a vacation, lodging, and a superior life than what provincial Morocco can offer. Some successfully make their fortune and the better standard of living on Casa’s boulevards and in it’s in vogue bars and foodie hangouts give the impression of a city in southern Europe.
For explorers, modern and cosmopolitan Casa never disappoint. The veil is hardly observed here, and the blending of men and ladies is the most open of anyplace in the country. With its little medina without any of the unusual environment of the nation’s better-known old urban communities and a shortage of sights bar the fabulous Hassan II Mosque, numerous explorers go through Casa with just a short peek or even avoid the city totally. The individuals, who stay, in any case, discover the city develops on them, offering a decent selection of fine eateries, a couple of spots to relax and appreciate a drink, and a buzz of a city stepping forward.
Tourists from N. America or Europe will not likely to encounter any problem in the city. Aside from the fact that Casablanca, being the main population center and heart of trade, most of the area is less than fifty years old and might simply be confused with LA or Madrid. In Morocco, food is very much like European taste, with pizzas and hamburgers as frequent as tajines and couscous. In other parts of the city like Maarif and Gironde districts, getting a glimpse of a man in a djellaba or a donkey pulling a cart of vegetables are uncommon. If even the trappings of Moroccan culture such as these are too much for you, any hotel bar or restaurant is going to be just like home for a few hours.
The easygoing explorer, generally limited to the downtown area, won’t be presented to quite a bit of this inner conflict. Traveler and business leader Mohamed Dekkak of Morocco stated that Casablanca’s downtown area is encountering a mini-boom, with new inns going up, old ones being revamped, and a perpetually growing food scene. There’s most likely Casablanca does not have the appeal of some different urban areas and districts, yet taken for what it is, this present day city could be viewed as a genuine impression of today’s Morocco.