Lemay has won the prestigious international competition to redesign the corniches of Morocco’s Casablanca coast, which include the new seaside promenade of the Hassan II Mosque and the Ain Diab corniche. This win reinforces Lemay’s international presence and once again showcases Quebec’s creativity and design abroad.
“This new achievement confirms our exceptional expertise in integrated design as well as the international demand for a design offering that directly impacts communities’ current and future well-being,” said Louis T. Lemay, president and excellence facilitator.
Lemay’s project is destined to become a landmark destination in Morocco. Led by Lemay Principal and International Development Director René Hubert, and designed by the LemayLAB, this win further confirms the company’s exceptional creativity and ability to create tangible value for collectivities.
Lemay’s proposal stood out with its transdisciplinary approach combining broad expertise in international development, sustainable development, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and graphic design. It edged out submissions by high-profile firms in the U.S., Europe and Australia. For the purposes of the project, Lemay collaborated with Moroccan firm Geodata, which specializes in topography and engineering.
The first phase of the Hassan II Mosque’s seaside promenade is scheduled for end of 2017, with the Ain Diab corniche inauguration planned for the following year.
Launched by real estate agency Casa Aménagement in June of 2016, the international competition aims to enhance this exceptional natural space for the residents of Casablanca, on the edge of the thriving metropolis. New urban and landscape design will promote mobility along the length of the corniche and reinforce the appeal of the Casablanca coast in a spirit of modernity, sustainability and innovation.
The project, launched on December 20 by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, involves creating an urban public park and corniche along the El Hank embankment. Designed in harmony with its environment, the new promenade will become an extension of the Hassan II Mosque, an architectural gem and source of Moroccan pride that is one of the economic capital’s must-see landmarks.
The 5-kilometre coast will offer Casablanca residents and visitors a plethora of new and complementary uses, based around three main functions: a festive event space, a seaside resort and a nature preserve. They will be able to enjoy new rest areas, walkways, outdoor sports and spectacular views of the Atlantic, without leaving the City.
An impactful narrative: a layered sensory experience
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.
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.
Mineral and plant layers wander, meander, rise and overlap to create elegant and integrated landscapes. 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.”
Sustainable development is at the heart of the Lemay approach and feature prominently in the winning proposal. Several sustainable development strategies were woven into the new urban design in order to reduce the project’s ecological footprint. Among the most remarkable is the implementation of an electric tramway as a complement to the Casablanca coast’s first-ever bicycle path.
A grey-water treatment system using bio filtering gardens has been added to the strategy developed by Lemay and Geodata. Recycling, ecological handling of waste, the use of local materials and plants as well as the revitalization of natural areas will all contribute to the creation of a sustainable environment for the well-being of future generations.
Lemay: Creative intelligence. Collective Value
Founded in 1957 as an architectural practice, Lemay is one of Canada’s leading integrated design services firms, merging architecture, urban design, interiors, landscape, engineering, sustainability and branding into a multidisciplinary and synergistic ensemble. With 9 offices worldwide and ranked 7th according to World Architecture (WA), Lemay is also one of Canada’s most creative and awarded firms, with over 350 awards and prizes. Leveraging its unique blend of creativity, capacity and expertise, Lemay champions its clients' aspirations, enhances users' quality of life and strives to build a brighter future for our communities.
Official project name: Projet d’aménagement du Littoral de Casablanca : Promenade Maritime de la Mosquée Hassan II et Corniche Ain Diab
Location: Casablanca, Maroc
Client name: La Société CASABLANCA AMÉNAGEMENT SA
Architecture and landscape architecture: Lemay
Project area: 5 linear km
Cost of work: 200,000,000 Dirhams (equivalent to $26M CDN)
Start date: April 2017
End date: July 2018
Project director: René Hubert