Containing apartments, offices, shops and a 5-star hotel, the site covers more than 90,000 square metres and is connected to Casablanca’s affluent residential district of Anfa. The development is carved into the cliffside beneath the existing corniche, drawing the city towards the sea with a series of terraced interventions. Pedestrians access the apartments at roof-level, via gardens and bridges, while discreet ramps lead cars to underground parking. An elevated promenade contains a plaza with cafes, restaurants and bars and breaks down the barrier that previously existed between the road and the beach.
Anfa Place extends along the corniche, with a hotel, swimming pool, courtyards and spa facilities at the north eastern tip, while offices and a ‘business club’ – comprising shared conference facilities and office space, a pool and serviced apartments – are accommodated towards the south west. The centre of the development is occupied by seven ‘fingers’ containing 260 private apartments that extend towards the ocean, staggered and oriented to allow those furthest from the beach to have sea views.
Using local materials and simple construction techniques, the design respects the architectural vernacular. The buildings are interspersed with private courtyards and trees, offering natural shade, while protecting against the strong sea breezes. The facades are designed to promote natural ventilation, control solar gain and exploit the cooling properties of thermal mass. The hotel balconies are also shaded by delicate filigree screens for privacy.
Mouzhan Majidi, Chief Executive of Foster + Partners, said: “I am delighted to see construction begin on Anfa Place, our first project in Morocco. The development will create a new waterfront community on an area that had previously been inaccessible, extending the city towards the sea with a sensitive insertion into the coastal landscape.”