For dense, urban environments a market represents more than just as a way of sustaining life. It also represents the culture and heritage of the people it serves. With the growing concerns over climate change and our environmental footprint, the need for a sustainable market is more prevalent than ever. The Sustainable Market of Casablanca was designed to meet the needs of climate change while also representing the people and culture of both Morocco and Casablanca.
The initial design process began by exploring proportion and scale of the site and surrounding context. The maximum buildable area was used as the market boundary in order to provide the highest amount of floor area. This boundary was then extruded to a height of 28 feet, which made the overall volume of the project. The market’s skin uses ½ inch thick stainless steel that curves at the ground allowing for entry into the market. An Islamic pattern is laser etched into the steel panels, which further connects to the market’s cultural heritage. These panels also serve as a major sustainability component of the project. A portion of the panels on the roof are curved in order to filter light. They also catch the ocean breeze and carry it into the market, therefore naturally cooling the interior. The curved stone volumes that divide the market also serve as the water collection system. The water collected is used throughout the market, and also provides a fresh drinking water source to the public.
Fluidity was an important concept for the Sustainable Market. The market had to be able to meet the many different needs that a culture would request of an important public space. This was accomplished by using operable partitions for the market stalls. The partitions rise out of a cavity in the ground which allows the market venders to determine the correct stall size for their needs, while also allowing the market to convert quickly and efficiently to meet the variety of programmatic needs. Due to Casablanca being a coastal city, the most significant area of the market is the section dedicated to fish and seafood. This space is also easily converted as the primary area for social and public events.
The Sustainable Market of Casablanca embodies the history and beauty of the Moroccan culture and landscape, while providing a sustainable place for people to acquire the daily necessities of life in an urban environment.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
My Role: Designer