CasArts Theatre Complex

Casablanca, Morocco

Architecture, Theatre / Concert Hall

Size: 26,500 m2
Status: Design
Project Design: 2009
Address: Mohammed V Square, Casablanca, Morocco
Client: CasArts, Casablanca

Programme: Competition design for a theatre complex with Salle de Spectacles for opera and theatre with 1800 to 1920 seats, Salle de Théâtre for theatre and musicals with 600 seats, event rooms of 1300m² and a restaurant of 1300m².

Located at Place Mohammed V, one of Casablanca’s main squares, CasArts forms the new cultural heart of the city. To generate more atmosphere and a sense of identity in the square, the public space is integrated with the new theatre complex, resulting in one vibrant cultural venue.

The design takes its cue from geometrical forms found in Arabic and Art Deco architecture in the city. CasArts contains a main 1800-seat auditorium for musicals and operas and a small theatre that can transform into a black box theatre.

The form of the complex is composed of a sphere, three cubes and a horizontal line. The main auditorium is situated in the sphere, which hinges between the square and a city boulevard.

Marking the transparent entrance, a wide overhang provides sheltered outdoor space that is also suitable for performances.

The cubes accommodate technical spaces and anchor the building to its surroundings. Besides supporting internal functions, the geometrical forms also guide the flow of visitors inside.

The entire facade is perforated by hexagonal openings, inspired by traditional North African architecture, that filter light inside and lend the interior a mysterious, enchanting quality. The facade also doubles as solar shading where the depth and sizes of the openings relate to angles of sunlight.

Advanced parametric scripting techniques were used to calculate these openings. The lobby design recalls a fly tower, exposing theatre elements normally hidden from the audience’s view.

Linking the two theatres is a roof terrace that offers visitors a spectacular panoramic view of Casablanca.

External links