Learning from Casablanca
2010 - 2011
Jeroen van der Drift
University Hassan 2
University of Utrecht – Social Geography Department
Netherlands Architecture Institute
#placemaking #spontaneous city #adaptation #urban planning #public space #social architecture #architecture without architects
Casablanca served as laboratory for European architects to experiment with modernist mass housing in the 40’s and 50’s. The visions of modernist architecture spread all over the world, suggesting new structures in housing, work, transport, and leisure.
The spatial structure in Casablanca has been extremely transformed and appropriated by the inhabitants over time to respond to the requirements and aspirations of everyday life.
A multi-disciplinary study was undertaken with schools and their students from Morocco and the Netherlands in a co-production between the team of Casamemoire, consisting of Abderrahim Kassou and Laure Augereau and the team of AAmatters. The College Superieure de l'Architecture de Casablanca was represented by its director Abdelmoumen Benabdeljalil and Karim Rouissi, while Prof. Tom Avermaete was leading the research team from Delft.
The study focused on the spontaneous adaptation that took place in Casablanca and what was at the basis of the fact that it often resulted in socio-cultural and economic successes.
The results were presented in an exhibition at the Sacre Coeur in Casablanca in November 2011, in connection with the African Perspectives conference that was organised by ArchiAfrika and the Ecole Superieure de l’Architecture of Casablanca.
A series of debates focused on the possibilities that this could bring to contemporary city planning.