Moroccan Migrant Relocation

PROJECT: Morocco Migrant Relocation
LOCATION: Casablanca, Morocco  |  SIZE: 60,000 sf
STUDIO: GSAPP Advanced Studio V
PROFESSORS: Craig Konyk & Paul Byard
DATE: Fall 2007

The proposal for a temporary migrant relocation center located in Casablanca, Morocco responds to the increasing illegal migration from Africa to Europe, particularly Spain. This center presents a legal route for African migrants wishing to move to Spain by serving as a forty day housing and processing center where potential migrants receive visas, arrange for jobs, and find housing in Spain.

This new type of socio-political institution would be located in the heart of an existing Moroccan residential district. This neighborhood has its own set of historic associations, dating back to the 1950s and the time of the French Protectorate in Morocco. As a part of a French plan for Muslim housing on the outskirts of Casablanca, French architecture firm, ATBAT Afrique designed a complex of three mid-rise apartment buildings situated among a district of one-story single-family units. The ATBAT Afrique complex came to be considered a prime example of modernist architecture. Fifty years as a residential neighborhood significantly changed the face of the purely modernist ATBAT buildings, forcing this project to consider the historic value of the site in its transformation to a new program.

This project builds on the architectural evolution of the ATBAT Afrique site from its inception to the present day. From a historic preservation standpoint it draws upon the process of change as a means of both preserving, as well as continuing the life of the buildings. In the addition of a new program, in the form of a Moroccan Migrant Relocation Center, the process of change that the site underwent in its first fifty years of existence is continued with a series of new adaptation types. If the initial change in the buildings can be described as “infill,” the new additions for the Migrant Center take on five new methods of intervention.

Each intervention type is linked to the issue of migration, informing both the architectural intervention, as well as the programmatic function of each new addition. While referring to an architectural intervention, these interventions also deal with the various stages of change a migrant experiences during the process of migrating to a new place.


Morocco Past View

Morocco Present View

Morocco Future View

Intervention Diagram

Morocco Attachment

Morocco Detachment

Morocco Reorientation

Morocco Replacement

Morocco Displacement

Morocco Site View

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