The urban and landscape design has been created with modernity, sustainability, and innovation in mind, and overall the design will promote mobility along the length of the corniche - a coastal, cliffside road - in a bid to draw tourists and locals to the beachside area.
The first phase of the Hassan II Mosque’s seaside promenade is scheduled to begin around the end of 2017 and the project’s cost is currently projected to be AUD $25.3 million. Lemay will be collaborating on the project with Moroccan company Geodata, specialists in topography and engineering, to create a multi-use attraction.
Launched in December, the project will feature an urban park and corniche along the El Hank embankment that will include rest areas, walkways, outdoor sports, and more. As an extension of the Hassan II Mosque, the promenade is expected to become a new Moroccan landmark in a severely under-developed area of the city.
Drawing inspiration from layered Islamic Gardens, the landscape will feature a series of levels and adjoined areas along the coastal strip. “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," explained the architects.
The project will focus heavily on sustainable development strategies, with many sustainable facets featuring in the design of the area such as the construction of an electric tramway and the Casablanca coast’s first bicycle path.
In addition to the inclusion of ‘green’ transportation, Lemay and Geodata have included plans for a greywater treatment system using bio-filtering gardens throughout the project. By reusing water-waste, recycling and drawing on the use of local material and plants for the construction of the project, the developers aim to revitalise the area with minimal environmental damage.
As it stands, the coastal redesign will feature a festive event space, seaside resort, and a nature preserve. The corniche is currently bookmarked by a small cluster of luxury restaurants at one end, and at the other end, the Hassan II Mosque holds approximately 105,000 worshippers inside and out during sacred festivities.
Needless to say, there is a great demand for public space areas that can facilitate these large numbers of users in the immediate area, rather than having to move the worshippers and tourists back into the city via private vehicles or foot, as is the current situation.