Project: Market Square Cover
Designed by Michael Labory & Bertrand Schippan
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
Michael Labory & Bertrand Schippan share with us their project of the multi-functional Market Square Cover designed for a location in Casablanca.
From the Architects:
Site and Program. Close examination of the project site shows that there will not be enough space for the market area itself if accompanying facilities e.g. cafes, kiosks, information services and restrooms are spread throughout the site.
Free Up Space. The goal for efficient arrangement of the functional facilities is attained by putting them along the site border thus maximizing the space to be used for market. We revive the dull facade of the neighboring building by bringing the volume of the facilities into the shape of its skyline. Among all other things, it contributes to the increase in urban density as windowless facade becomes a part of lively market place. Authenticity of the eastern market is highlighted by exquisite mashrabiya façade texture.
Lifted Plazza. To protect the market users and the goods from tiring heat of Morocco sun and pouring rains we lifted the whole footprint of the marketplace, creating cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The sides of the market remain open to ensure maximum accessibility, visibility of the goods on display and to benefit from natural cross-ventilation.
Storage Roof. The lifted structure itself offers a unique chance to assign additional functions to the roof and to show its hidden potential. It takes a shape of pixelated Arabic carpet, where each pixel is a box (1 m x 1 m x 1.5m) in a grid. Pixel-boxes are meant for salesmen to store their goods. The structure itself eliminates the need in assistance for constructing and dismantling market stands every time, which means direct savings for sellers and market authorities.
Pixel-boxes can be arranged at different levels thus becoming movable shop-windows with goods displayed turning into guiding signs for users.
Structural Support. Interconnected storage pixel-boxes colored in traditional shades of Arabic carpet on top and transparent on the sides constitute the roof fabric. Structurally the roof is a grid (6 m x 6 m) supported by 10 hydraulic columns that also serve as water collectors support.
Variety of Shape for a Variety of Uses. The cover of the market is highly flexible thanks to its structure and offers a completely new landscape: it can be lifted up in the morning forming covered market place, another moment it can be turned into Khaima for Aid events and at night disguise itself as open-air theatre. Continuous net of interconnected pixel-boxes that can move freely along the columns’ height enables the roof to take almost any whimsical shape.
The Carpet. Pixel-boxes that constitute the carpet-fabric are composed of different materials and serve for various functions: PV solar cells, water collection, movable display windows, storage containers, etc. Roof colored in the shades of traditional Arabic carpet mimics its flexibility, multi-functionality and makes the space eastern fairy-tale come true.
Flying carpet. When the roof is lifted flat above the market plaza it becomes a platform which offers perfect viewing point of the city. There citizens can enjoy the tranquil beauty of the view on top of the eastern market sprawling with life.
Khaima. By moving the pixel-boxes the roof can be turned into Khaima – traditional Moroccan tentused for Aid after Ramadam. Resemblance with carpet will add more sacredness to the place.
Dome. The roof carpet fabric shaped into a dome creates a space with a very high ceiling thus enabling major city events to be carried out.
Tribune. With pixel-boxes lined up as a tribune, the plaza can be used as an open-air cinema or theatre with the extended façade of the building used for projections.
Arcades. The roof can be easily transformed into one of the most iconic eastern market shapes by keeping its urban fabric – arcade. It will enforce the irresistible charm of Casablanca.
Folie’s landscape. Depending on the desires and needs of the citizens, the plaza can be transformed into almost any unimaginable shape and form. “Your wish – is my shape” like in the best traditions of eastern fairy tales, it can turn either in a playground for kids or a meeting place for debates, offering cover from sun, rain or street noise.
Crazy Market. With the movable roof structure most unexpected and crazy visions of the market place can be realized– nothing is impossible. Depending on the seasonal goods being sold, specific market days, traditional holidays– the market place can be accordingly redesigned. Let the imagination of citizens reign.