After Zara and Massimo Dutti, the agency Group3 Architects delivers its third commercial building, for Bershka, in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2011; the 5 floors building offers local shops and offices.
Its uniqueness lies in the main facade facing south, designed in order to protect the interior spaces from the sun while providing them with a bright atmosphere. The facade was thought as a perforated sheet, doubled by a fully glazed wall; the size of the perforations gives a substantially smooth, opaque perception of the building, from outside, while a sense of transparency is felt by the inside users.
Sources : http://www.groupe3architectes.com/
Abdelouahed Mountassir, the Architect, the man… He is the AWM figure, with many important realisations in Morocco and abroad.
The previous blog post was about the Istiqlal Party Headquarters proposal, which he elaborated as part of the AWM team. He has few interesting projects that caught my attention. I let you find out more about him and the following projects…
The project has been designed to allow a clear spatial identification and to represent the Istiqlal Party, by using strong symbolic concepts that combine unity with diversity. A symbolic image of the party is the balance, thus the project is divided into two buildings treated differentiated and unified by an architectural gesture: the DRC.
The DRC as a relief, composed of greenery and built frames, which widens from the ground up, provides both natural light and optimal ventilation of all the major parts of the building and a fluid flow between the access, the convention hall, the exhibition and the garden.
Higher levels seem to levitate above a volume traversed by light, making the the building transparent throughout. This invisible link, free and fleeing, between complementary opposites, reflects the values dear to the Party: modernity and tradition, social justice and economic development, historic anchor and openness.
Photos Source: http://www.awmountassir.ma
The restoration of Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia, recreates the fluidity of space and relationates between the ancient and contemporary architectural elements.
The project involved the complete interior renovation of a four-storey building along with façade interventions in order to accommodate the cultural center called The House of Morocco in Montreal, Canada. Its concept is inspired by the riads as houses built around a central courtyard.
All the internal functions are contained by a new drilling created between the first two levels: multipurpose rooms, exhibition spaces, classrooms, offices and coffee rooms. The main entrance is marked by an unfolded, perforated mesh texture which gives substance to the neighboring facilities. It features the image of the Moroccan moucharabiehs that filter ambient light purposefully to create an effect of shadows and light on textures. Discreet, minimal interventions were made on the façade: new windows and a curtain wall on ground floor, plus a new entrance.
Designed by KRon Fleisher Architecture firm, the house takes full advantage of the landscape, at the top of the hill overlooking Wadi Ara. The design reflects the desire to keep a strong palestinian identity near Haifa, in the heart of the Arab-Israeli village of Musmus.
Its generous, carved openings (mashrabiyas) encourage the natural circulation of air in different living spaces. The plan combines traditional spaces, such as the Liwan space around which the objects are arranged, and contemporary needs, such as a TV room and a formal dining room.
Photography by Shai Epstein