Morocco’s stunning former imperial city of Marrakesh may soon receive a new congress center that blends traditional Moroccan architecture with modern elegance. Designed by Istanbul-based practice Tabanlioglu Architects, the Marrakesh Congress Center is an eye-catching geometric building enveloped in natural stone and perforated with delicate patterns that reference local arts and architecture. The proposal recently won a prestigious ‘The Plan’ magazine award for future projects in the Office & Business Category.
Known colloquially as “The Red City” for the prevalence of red sandstone architecture, Marrakesh is packed with mosques, palaces, and markets ringed by old fortified city walls. In keeping with the local vernacular, the 14,000-square-meter Marrakesh Congress Center would be built with red natural stone. Its blocky form brings to mind strength and fortification. The facade’s patterned perforations allow diffused natural light to pass into the interior while blocking unwanted solar gain.
The building’s robust form is softened by the addition of crawling vines and trees on the facade, as well as integrated gardens that punctuate the interior on different levels. “The interplay of the inside and outside will be a central theme for the building, communicated through such integrated gardens, as well as with the sunlight piercing the façade throughout the day,” write the architects. “At ground level the atrium will be visible through porticos and one central focus door that will reference the striking local doors in Morocco, emphasizing a dynamic interior / exterior flow.”
Images via Tabanlioglu Architects