[CASABLANCA] Sustainable Market Square

Project ///

Market square is a public open area where market stalls are traditionally set out for trading, commonly on particular days. It is usually situated in the centre of the town, surrounded by buildings and streets.

Sustainable Architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious de- sign techniques in the field of architecture.

Casablanca is a young and dynamic city in Morocco with a population estimated at approximately 4 million habitants.It is the largest city in the Maghreb and the fourth largest in Africa. It is also an important business hub with 60% of the country’s economic activities.

Being an important economic center, its architecture is a combination of different styles which gives it a unique architectural beauty.

The aim of this International Competition is to design a New Sustainable Market Square in Casablanca. The architecture of this new Structure should reflect contemporary design tendencies. The proposal must not only attend to the specific function but the design should also take into consideration the urban insertion and its impact.

This Competition hopes to achieve the following:
_Research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing an original market. 
_Create a new comtemporary social space where locals can meet and shop. 
_Generate the discussion and ideas about the functionality of community and street commerce. 
_Meet the requirements of Green Architecture.
_Experiment with innovative materials.

This is a single stage Competition with the aim of identifing the most appropriate proposal, which best satisfies the general and specific objectives of the contest.

This is an open international competition hosted by [AC-CA]™ to generate progressive contemporary design ideas. There are no plans for the Sustainable Market Square to be built. 

Media Sponsors ///


Schedule ///

_Competition Officially Announced - 10th July 2012

_Start of Competition and Early Bird registration - 15th July to 31st August 2012

_Late Competition Registration -  01st September to 31st October 2012

_Deadline for Questions  - 18th October 2012

_Closing Date for Submissions  - 05th November 2012

_Jury Evaluation - 09th November - 16th November 2012

_Announcement of Winners and posted on www.ac-ca.org - 20th November 2012


Jury ///

_Ahmed Belamine  – Architect (Moroccan)

_Christina Yessios – Architect (American)

_Alan Flood – Architect (Irish)


Prizes ///

Winning participants will receive prizes totaling US$ 6,000 with the distribution as follows:




There will also be 7 honorable mentions


1st Prize, 2nd Prize and 3rd Prize will be published in following magazines as well as on the [AC-CA]™ website:

• Positive Art Magazine (Italia)

• idprestige Design Magazine (Morocco)

• La Vie Art Magazine (Japan)

• 100 Editiones Architecture Magazine (Argentina)

 wettbewerbe-aktuell Magazine (Germany)

• Concept Magazine (Korea)

• Blueprint Architecture Magazine (Uk)

• Monitor International Magazine (Germany, France, Russia)

• Future Arquitecturas Architecture Magazine (USA & China)

• Architecture+Design Magazine (India)

• ASK Magazine (Egypt)



FAQ ///

Is accessibility a major concern for the project? ie. ramps, lifts, etc for those with disabilities.
It is highly recommended that disabled access regulation is respected or adhered to.

Can you please confirm the heights of the surrounding buildings.
The average height of surrounding buildings is approximately between 10 to 25 meters. 

Are there any height restrictions?
No, there are no height restrictions.

Is there any restriction to building below street level?
No, there is no restriction on designing below street level.

Should design proposals strictly follow the areas and spaces listed in the program or is it just a guide on minimum requirement?
It should be considered as minimum requirement for the 5 specific zones - but only for the market.

Are the 10 external water point with taps to be provided for the market, meant to be used by the social area and general public regardless of the market opening or operation?
Yes, they will be used by the market (mainly), social area and general public regardless of the market opening, so they have to be accessible at all times.

Where is the school entrance?
The school’s entrance is in front of the project area indicated by the metal gate with squared colour pattern as shown in picture 1 in Competition brief.

Is there any requirement for parking space or just street parking? If so, can I add an underground parking lot or garage building?
There is no requirement for a parking lot, however you are free to add one to your design.

Should the 5 Market zones have more than one market stand or stall and how many people are estimated to use the market daily?
Yes, we highly recommend that each zone have more than one (1) stand and that assume that the Square will be extremely busy during the Market with excess of 500 people at any given hour.

Should the windows of the buildings surrounding the square retain an outside view?
The three (3) windows on the existing back wall can be ignored (see picture 2 in the brief).

Can the space above the lower buildings adjacent the site and right up to the neighbouring buildings be used?
Yes. This is open to your design.

Do the newspaper kiosks have to be within the square or can it be located in another corner in front of the square?
The Newspaper kiosk should be located within the square on the specified site only.

Does the entire 75m2 of the cafe need to be indoors or can a portion be outdoors?
Yes, a portion of the cafe can be outdoor seating. However, it must be "covered".

Is it assumed that all market traders arrive and depart with all their goods and therefore the market provides an organised platform for vendors with no need for secure, individual (locked) market stalls?
Yes, there is no need for secure (locked) market stall.

Is the 100 m sq toilet allocation with provision for 10 rest rooms requirement mean just toilets or does it include changing rooms?
These restrooms are toilet cubicles and wash sinks or basins.

Is it necessary to design the specified facilities spaces (cafè, information area, restrooms etc.) with detailed drawings or just a volumetric detail?
It's highly recommended to provided the requested program with enough information detailed (toilets, counter, stalls, etc...)

Can the position or height of existing street lighting be changed ?
Yes, you may change position and height of existing street lighting.

Can I take into account storage space for the market square?
Yes, you can include storage space into your market square design.

What kind of event can be included in the market square?
The competition brief states: "Day / Evening event can be included to suggest an effective use of the market space and a sense of community when the market is not in session such as evening arts performances, festivals, table games, etc.."

Is the social area mentioned in the brief be considered a separate space or is it just the actual market space which can be transformed into other uses?
The social area is not a separate space, as mentioned on the competition brief but the actual market space which can be adapted to other uses when the market is not in session.

Can the roof structure extend beyond the rounded north corner of the site?
Yes. However, it has to be in harmony with the site’s surroundings.

Does the information area have to be a 20m² space and what will it be used for?
Yes, we recommend that the sqm mentioned on the Competition brief be adhered to. This area aims to provide a sign posting service for visitors. These are various display stands where you can pick-up information leaflet, flyers, maps, Information about the new Casablanca Tram lines, etc...

Can I propose a building with two levels and can restrooms then be located on two levels?
Yes, a two storeys building is allowed as part of a participants design. However, we do not think it is necessary as it is only a structure covering that is required not a building.

What is the time of market's activity?
The planned opening hours are between 7am - 2pm (4 to 5 days a week).

Where is the access for bus stop or taxis and is there any lane for bicycles?
There are Bus stops 2-5 mins walk away from the selected site. Taxis can be flagged down or stopped anywhere in the street in Casablanca. There are no specialist lanes along the existing road for bicycles. However you can add bicycle racks on site for those who cycle.

Are the mentioned areas inclusive of the walls?
Yes, all mentioned areas are inclusive of walls.

Is the stalls design also expected in the design program or just Market square ?
Stalls design is expected as well as the Market Square structure is part of the competition program (they can be removable or fixed).

Are there other services expected other than the refuse or rubbish area and taps?
Yes, the Toilets should also have a lockable cleaner cupboard.