Casa-Port New Railway Station
Shortlisted project for the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
This transport hub, designed to anticipate 25 million passenger trips per year in the future, comprises a large passenger hall opening onto a wide square to the southwest and the platforms to the southeast, a shopping centre located on the lower level of the hall, an underground car park and an office building. The dimensions of the vast concourse and the walkways leading to the transverse platform are designed to deal with commuter travel and peak time loadings occurring over the same periods during the day. The architecture of the station hall is characterised by its hypostyle roof, a wide canopy of wood and steel extending beyond the facades to jut out over the square, and thin supporting columns, the upper part of which split into eight branches to filter sunlight through the skylight. The hall’s glass facades enable travellers to grasp the organisation of the station and its walkways and, on the west side, a contemporary mashrabiyya-like system filters the strong afternoon sunlight. In anticipation of future transformations, the hub has been devised in a way that allows its future connection with a potential regional express line station. In its spaces, volumes, materials, lighting and geometry, the station carries on the heritage of Moroccan palaces and public buildings, while paying tribute to the modernity of Casablanca.
Text by AKDN