Lemay Wins Competition to Redesign Casablanca’s 5Km Coast
Canadian architecture practice Lemay has won an international competition to redesign the corniche of Casablanca coast in Morocco and turn it into a landmark destination. The redesign project includes Morocco’s iconic Hassan II Mosque’s seaside and the Ain Diab Corniche.
The competition was initiated by real estate agency Casa Aménagement, in 2016, with the aim of revitalizing the nature of Casablanca represented in its coast, by enhancing its appeal in a modern and sustainable manner as well as improving the mobility along its corniche. The development project will, also, include an urban public park and corniche along the ‘El Hank’ embankment.
Lemay’s design proposal for the 5-kilometer stretch is based on three functions: a festive event space, a seaside resort, and a nature preserve. It will offer the city’s residents new rest areas, walkways, outdoor sports spaces, and breath-taking views of the Atlantic, all within the borders of the city.
“Inspired by the classic and multi-tiered Islamic garden, our design offers a formal procession from the City to the Sea, through a series of landscaped layers,” says Lemay of their re-design plan. “A first shaded layer defines the entrance to the promenade, as a green park traces a line between Corniche Blvd. and the shore. The next level of gardens encourages recreation and leisure, while the following levels are dedicated to walking and the beach.” They added, “At street intersections, open public squares act as gates to the sea and connect services such as restaurants, boutiques, fountains, sanitary facilities and underground parking. An unobstructed view of the sea always dominates, thanks to an integration of facilities and rolling landscape.”
Lemay’s urban design for the coast, also, features multiple sustainable development strategies which shall reduce the ecological impact of the project. These strategies include an electric tramway along with Casablanca’s first-ever bicycle path by the coast and a gray-water treatment system which uses bio-filtering gardens.
The project’s first phase which will cover the Hassan II Mosque’s seaside promenade is expected to be finished by the end of this year, 2017, and the Ain Diab corniche in the second phase is expected to open in July 2018. The estimated total cost for the project is 200 million Dirhams ($19.4 million).