Address: Souani Méditerranée Resort | AL HOCEIMA | Morocco
Latitude/Longitude: 35.209029, -3.900871
Souani is a unique natural site, an intact pine forest of acacias and eucalyptus on the bay of Al Hoceima, between the Rif and the Mediterranean. A dense and shaded forest limited on one side by a pristine beach, the ocean and the rock of Al Hoceima, floating bastion sitting in the middle of the bay and on the other side by the medieval ruins still buried and which remind us that Souani is not merely an exceptional natural location, but a historic site as well.
This project is part of the 160.000m2 Souani Méditerranée Resort which includes a mosaic of typologies and programs distributed throughout an exceptional 798ha location. Formalizing the western gate of this intervention with a direct relation to its namesake the Sfiha beach, “Sfiha Center” is born from a sustainable approach to the site. In order to reduce the impact of the project and to save on resources, we assembled the required program spaces within a small village called “Coeur de Vie”. The different buildings which make up this “village” are articulated around pathways and small squares creating an architectural ensemble oriented upon itself within which the activities develop along an intimate and human scale, echoing the local environment.
This resourceful small village reconciles residential usage with retail functions, public spaces, and social facilities thanks to its proposal of pliable white compact minimalist volumes inspired by local fortified villages, the rock of Al Hoceima and the traditional architecture of the Rif.
The clean volumes are inserted within the existing clearings of the forest, folded and articulated in order to protect the existing trees and thus insuring their conservation. The plasticity of the architecture allows for a wide diversity of volumes, affording a complex rhythm which gives the project its identity. This also reinforces the passive energy savings by working the thermal gains of the facades thanks to the numerous corners, loggias and porches, and thus also shading the large windows from direct solar exposure.
Elle renforce également l’économie énergétique de forme passive en travaillant le rendement thermique des façades grâce aux nombreux redans, loggias et porches, évitant ainsi l’exposition des grandes baies vitrées à la radiation solaire directe. A floating trellace along the pathways and squares allows the sunlight to filter in creating a shimmering and refreshing play of shadows. These shaded spaces, as well as the numerous reflecting pools and pines, add to the liveliness of the shops, cafés, and restaurants making this “Coeur de Vie” an allegory to Mediterranean life.
Developer / Client: Compagne Générale Immobilière CGI
Budget Total: 3.6 million € – 661€/m2
Surfaces: Total 5.440 m2
Contributed by Patrick Genard y Asociados
⇒ Architecture Guide to AL HOCEIMA
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