Anfa Place is a mixed-use development on the Atlantic coast to the west of Casablanca, close to the city’s affluent residential district of Anfa. The design takes advantage of the site’s magnificent natural setting – the 90,000-square-metre scheme extends the city to the shoreline by creating a new waterfront quarter, with places to live, offices, shops, cafes, leisure facilities and a five-star hotel.
The spaces are carved into the cliff-side beneath the existing corniche, drawing the city towards the sea with a series of stepped terraces. An elevated promenade leads to a plaza with cafes, restaurants and bars and breaks down the barrier that previously existed between the road and the beach. Pedestrians access the apartments at roof-level, via gardens and bridges, and discreet ramps lead cars to underground parking. The buildings then extend along the corniche: there is a hotel, swimming pool, courtyard and spa facilities at the north eastern tip, and offices and a ‘business club’ – comprising shared conference facilities and office space, a pool and serviced apartments – towards the south west of the site. The centre of the development is arranged as seven ‘fingers’ containing 260 private apartments. These extend towards the ocean and are staggered to allow even those furthest from the beach to have sea views.
Using local materials and construction techniques, the design responds to the architectural vernacular. The buildings are interspersed with private courtyards and trees, offering natural shade, while protecting against the strong sea breezes. The facades are designed to promote natural ventilation, control solar gain and exploit the cooling properties of thermal mass and, for privacy, the hotel balconies are shaded by delicate filigree screens.