Casablanca, Morocco
The Agroparc office building houses three entities which handle about 37 per cent of Morocco's agricultural products. Their activities are geared towards marketing, communication, and "selling" the image and label of Morocco. The project is located in the countryside, on a hilly site offering a panoramic view of the Atlantic. The structure blends with the site in a unique way. It is partially buried in the higher part of the terrain, with the tops and sides planted as part of the surrounding landscape. The site offered two important natural features, the slope and the view of the sea. Both features constituted important considerations in the design of the project.

The building's main floor is divided into three major sections: enclosed offices and open working areas; top management and administration; and shared facilities and common areas. The main sections are grouped around a glass covered court which acts as a distributing hall connecting all the activities of the building. The sections are placed on one multi-level ground floor that follows the slope of the site. A receding upper floor is placed on top of the higher part of the ground floor, and contains the formal restaurant and the cafeteria. The general services are located in the basement level.

The concept aimed to group the main functions around a major distribution element, based on the idea of the traditional court house in which the courtyard acts as an introverted space towards which most functions converge. Within the rural context, the courtyard as a distribution element was translated into a large greenhouse. The building masses run parallel to the slope of the site offering a continuous view of the sea. The design provided one main floor space, containing all the major functions, which is articulated internally into stepped open areas following the slope of the site.

Landscaping was an integral part of the design evolution. The main part of the structure was made to blend totally with the site through the extensive plantation of the roof tops as garden terraces. This part of the structure is only visible through the horizontal glass areas. The garden terraces on top of the building are irrigated through a system of water channels and ducts resembling traditional irrigation systems of the Atlas mountain.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Casablanca, Morocco
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Ground floor area: 3,520 m²; total site area: 24,800 m²
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