The mall will be built on a formerly undeveloped area on the south side of Casablanca and will provide 18,000m2 of retail and leisure space including an IMAX cinema, restaurants and shops.
The elegant retail centre developed by Design International Architects for Al Amine Investissement Immobilier, a joint venture between Moroccan franchise and fashion operators Aksal and Nesk, is being designed by Arup.
This retail centre will become a reference not only as a luxury shopping venue in North Africa and southern Europe, but as an avant-garde design including a zinc façade and glazed domes.
The mall, which features four glass domes, is half a kilometre in length and is located less than 20m from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Moroccan climate and the local winds which can reach 120km/h for up to one week per year is a design challenge for Arup, both for the structural and building services designs.
The building services design was challenging because of the severe Moroccan climate. We had to find ways to control the environment inside the building as sustainable as possible. The client wanted a lot of glass but we undertook studies to show that we could get enough light into the building with less. We also used shading and improved the UV values and overall performance of the glass. ” Maurizio Teora Director
The architect's design for a large open space with natural light through glazed domes is a key driver for Arup's design approach. Allowing for a flexible structural design, whilst designing for efficient energy usage and maintaining comfortable interior conditions for users, was a key goal for the client and for Arup.