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Casablanca Finance City Tower / Morphosis Architects

  • Architect:Morphosis Architects
  • Location:Casablanca, Morocco
  • Date:Competition (Nov 2011 - Jan 2012)
  • Area:21,000 sqm
  • Client:Moroccan Financial Board

 

Casablanca Finance City Tower – Description from Morphosis Architects. 

Towers define the character of a city at a macro scale. Silhouettes and spires become cultural icons, symbolically linking their patrons and tenants to the make-up of the city. Regardless of their skyline presence, towers must necessarily also engage the public realm at street level. This critical relationship to the ground plane bears equal weight on the design of a building, determining whether a building will be an active participant in the urban fabric or a discrete and isolated structure.

Courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Courtesy of Morphosis Architects

The Casablanca Finance City tower explores this notion of dual activation, reconsidering the iconic tower typology that often disengages a building from the pedestrian experience. The tapered crown of a high-rise building suggests exclusivity and prestige; by mirroring this apex towards the street, the tower extends its iconic form to the human scale, activating the lower urban landscape with communal programming and public space.

Courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Courtesy of Morphosis Architects

The double-crown concept allows the building to simultaneously serve as a symbol of Casablanca-Anfa’s thriving development and as a social node that connects the tower back to its context.  The programmatic and circulation design work together with this concept of duality in order to achieve exciting spaces both internally and as a part of the greater urban context, a design strategy critical to the growth and sustainability of a vibrant city culture for Casablanca-Anfa.

Courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Courtesy of Morphosis Architects

The Tower holds a pivotal position in the development of Casablanca-Anfa and the Casablanca Financial Center.  As one of the first building projects to be envisioned in the district’s new masterplan, The Tower will serve as a precedent for future growth in the city; as such, it must take on a leadership role in promoting design excellence and environmental responsibility.  In tandem with its forward-looking form, the tower employs tested and cutting-edge technologies to address present and future critical environmental issues while ensuring flexibility for future adaptations.

Courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Courtesy of Morphosis Architects

The Tower takes advantage of several building-wide sustainability concepts to achieve high-performance and energy efficiency.  The most dominant element is the cloak of brise-soleil (Moucharabieh) wrapping the main body of the tower.  The delicately textured pattern of concrete fins provides sun-shading for interior space, reducing heat gain without eliminating views for users.

Courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Courtesy of Morphosis Architects

To further enhance energy production, PV cells are embedded into the fritted glass at the upper levels of the tower to minimize dependency on external energy sources.  In addition, the upper floors benefit from the implementation of a thermal chimney between a double glazed façade, which both insulates the facade and creates a passive air circulation system.

Courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Courtesy of Morphosis Architects

The combination of these design strategies culminate in an exciting new prospect for Casablanca-Anfa, positioning the tower a benchmark in the city’s journey of growth and a beacon of its visionary spirit.

MORE CREDITSDesign director: Thom Mayne. Project Principal: Ung-Joo Scott Lee. Project Designers: Nicolas Fayad, Hunter Knight. Project Team: Debbie Chen, Stuart Franks, Farah Harake, Edmund Ming Yip Kwong, Brian Richter, Go-Woon Seo. Advanced Technology: Cory Brugger, Stan Su. Project Assistants: Jessica Chang, Alayne Kaethler, Eric Meyer, Nicole Meyer, Vincent Parlatore, Shin Park, Benjamin Salance, Legier Stahl, Luke Yoo. Visualization: Sam Tannenbaum, Jasmine Park, Nathan Skrepcinski, Josh Sprinkling, Stuart Franks. Local Architect: Omar Alaoui ArchitectesStructural: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez) / Thornton Tomasetti (Competition Phase). MEP: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez) / ARUP (Competition Phase). Sustainability: Transsolar (Competition Phase). Cost Estimator: Oger / Davis Langdon (Competition Phase). Façade: VS-A Architectes d.p.l.g / Ingeniere de L’EnveloppeLighting: Tillotson DesignAcoustics: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez). Audiovisual / IT: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez). Code / Life Safety: QualiconsultVertical Transportation: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez). Fire Protection: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez). Security: Tractebel Engineering (GDF Suez). LEED: Artelia Batiment & Industrie. Construction Management: Artelia Batiment & Industrie.

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