Sustainable Market Square Second Prize Winning Proposal / PMG Architects

Courtesy of

Designed by PMG Architects, their second prize winning proposal for the sustainable market square competition in Casablanca lets itself be admired, but only reveals itself partially and gradually in using a variety of different architectural elements. Beneath the immense arched galleries, as airy as they are luminous, the architects try to grasp the thousands of riches of this place, so many vibrant fragrances and unknown colors, enticing flavors, and colorful spices. From one arc to another, from one vendor to his counterpart, from one ambiance to its contrary. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of PMG Architects

Past magnificent arcades, as our attention is caught and questioned, discreetly, traversing in¬numerable interstices of light, we notice multiple details of an architecture that revels in being discovered bit by bit, by each element, each sculpture, each relief, each shadow, each angle.

Courtesy of PMG Architects

We can feel that this is just the beginning of a fascinating universe. Having passed the sequence of structured archways, we catch ourselves erring down what’s ahead, walkways and various paths, gradually coming to means with the implicit ordinance, letting ourselves be guided towards more intense light, an opening towards the sky, towards an area occupied by a market, towards the heart of the Medina. Movement, shade, a certain commotion, a certain stability: it’s the heart of the economic wealth of . Intrigue and desire become more present, the desire to venture towards the center, the desire to understand.

diagram 05
Courtesy of PMG Architects

Where the aisles meet, at the center of this unfathomable world, once again we feel the presence of a powerful light, an opening towards the azure, the heart of the market.

Architects: PMG Architects
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
Design Team: Guillermo Lumbreras Ruiz, Monique Bastos Nunes Hervé, Pierre-Henri Baudart
Type: Market
Site Area: 790m2
Building Area: 500m2
Gross Floor Area: 600m2
Building Coverage Ratio: 96%
Gross Floor Ratio: 76%
Stories Above Ground: 1
Stories Below Ground: 1
Roof Structure: Wooden grid of 2x2meters to fix a PVC polyester fabric membrane
Vertical Structure: Squared wooden poles fixed in between them with metal brackets and which are also attached to a series of bigger wooden pillars that descend the load of the whole structure to the floor
Maximum Height: 11m
Landscape (Open Areas): 176m2
Exterior Finish: Wooden poles with a water-repellent application
Status: Architectural competition, 2nd prize
Competition Organized by: [AC-CA] 

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Sustainable Market Square Second Prize Winning Proposal / PMG Architects" 24 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Jon

    It’s very fussy…

  • VL

    With a strong influence from Adjaye’s ‘SCLERA’ pavilion

  • mvb

    What a waste of wood, just for decoration

    • HWG

      In a world where money and rentabilities fixe the rules of 90% of the architectural project, sometimes, wasting wood for beauty is much more interesting….and even more for a free public access area….

  • Yuriy Nazarov

    what sustainable in using such an amount of material just for covering square?

  • Mike Lowery

    @VL With a very strong influence from Adjaye’s ‘SCLERA’ pavilion

  • JS

    It’s sustainable because: by law; for every wooden beam used, new wood has to be grown, aka new trees have to be planted. The wood, that is used, has CO2 stored inside it, while the ammount of trees basically stays the same. It takes CO2 from the sky into the building!

  • Hoffmanea

    While it does have some influence from adjaye’s sclera pavilion as has been mentioned, it operates in a completely different way. Adjaye’s pavilion simply employs an opening in the facade, the most elementary form of entry. Here the same material is used to not only to produce a strong figure in elevation through cultural reference, but it animates the interior through its sectional qualities; something the sclera pavilion doesn’t address.

  • Octavian

    Guys, here goes my opinion: 1.Sustainability MUST include a bigger picture.using wood and coming up with nonsense arguments it’s just not enough. Sustainability it is about the go figures out what is an environment and what are the elements in this environment. Bigger picture! 2. I agree with “what a waste of wood”. 3. The concept seems to me that it never even tried to resolve an urban design problem: an intersection, or a street corner! (fluxes, volumes, existing proportions,etc) Again, we need to think about the bigger picture!
    4. It does not make a good use of the space, as a resource, if you’re analyzing the volume. Now don’t get me wrong, overall the project looks great, but for me, it just does not fit in there!