The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Rooftop shanties top once iconic Casablanca buildings

MOROCCO: Shanties have mushroomed on the rooftops of historic apartment buildings in Casablanca, as the Moroccan city’s once-prestigious centre crumbles below.

construction, culture, politics,


AFP

Sunday 9 July 2017, 03:00PM


Clotheslines, satellite dishes and tangled cables have sprouted on the deteriorating facades of Casablanca’s buildings, constructed nearly a century ago under French rule. Photo: AFP
Clotheslines, satellite dishes and tangled cables have sprouted on the deteriorating facades of Casablanca’s buildings, constructed nearly a century ago under French rule. Photo: AFP

Clotheslines, satellite dishes and tangled cables have sprouted on the deteriorating facades of the buildings, constructed nearly a century ago under French rule.

What was once a feted blend of Moroccan and European architecture is falling apart under the weight of an expanding urban population and neglect.

The city “was once at the forefront of world architecture”, architect Rachid Andaloussi says.

But today its early 20th-century residential buildings have been “abandoned by landlords tired of seeing them deteriorate”, says Andaloussi, the head of Casamemoire, an association to protect the city’s architectural heritage.

And a housing crisis in the traffic-clogged economic hub has led Moroccans with nowhere else to live to cobble together makeshift homes on rooftop terraces.

“They’ve squatted in public infrastructure, factories – and now they’ve moved on to the terraces,” Andaloussi says.

Building themselves shelter from corrugated iron, bits of wood and plastic bags, they have come to occupy what were once emblematic architectural spaces.

Casablanca, known by the Spanish translation of its Arabic name Dar al-Bayda (“White House”), greatly expanded under the French protectorate from 1912.

French architect and urban planner Henri Prost presented his first plan for the Moroccan city in 1915.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Prost and mostly fellow French architects built the city that has become the country’s economic heart.

They created the city’s unique style by blending traditional Moroccan elements like mosaics, stucco and sculpted cedar wood with the European trends of Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

Their work includes the Lincoln Hotel, an Arabesque Art Deco building that was built in 1916 and used by American spies during World War II. But it closed in 1989 and today stands largely in ruins.

The Liberty Building, also called “The 17th Floor”, was North Africa's first skyscraper when it was built between 1949 and 1951.

C and C Marine

And the Wilaya, a former town hall, is an example of the mixed architecture typical of many administrative buildings under the French protectorate.

Architect Driss Kettani says the Casablanca city centre was once a “feat of architecture and urban planning”, “with its wealth of neo-Moorish, Art Deco and Modernist architecture”.

“What was a few decades ago the indisputable heart of the city has today suffered from a lack of maintenance,” Kettani says.

Tenants in these buildings often pay “ridiculously low” fixed rents, and landlords can only remove them if they pay a huge relocation fee.

Neither the tenants nor the owners pay for the upkeep of the buildings.

The city’s old core is also threatened by real estate speculation, as developers look to buy historic properties to tear them down and build modern apartment blocs instead.

Urban planner Mostafa Kheireddine explains that Casablanca’s housing crisis stems from a booming population from successive migration flows to the city in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

“Over the years, it experienced pressure on the urban planning sector that was unprecedented in the history of Morocco’s cities,” he says.

As all of Morocco’s social tensions came to the fore in 1980s Casablanca, “quality urban housing was not given priority,” Kheireddine says.

But times are changing, raising hopes of an urban revival.

The authorities have started upgrading the city centre after what Kettani calls “a realisation of the extraordinary potential of this part of the city”.

The opening of a tram line has given the area’s buildings added value.

And wealthier Moroccans are increasingly buying apartments in the Art Deco buildings, as they become fashionable and the area gentrifies.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


More twists unfold in Phuket’s Amy Jacobs arrest

The charge would appear to be "possession" rather than "ownership", I doubt whoever sold them gave a receipt :-) Again, what a ...(Read More)


Phuket police seize over B10mn worth of overpriced items in zero-dollar raids

It is simple, people from European countries are done with Phuket. They anyway never went to the chinese shops the authorities attack so fiercely thi...(Read More)


Silpakorn varsity panel probes sex act hazing claims

Sadly you will find those stupid rituals in many campuses around the world!...(Read More)


Phuket police seize over B10mn worth of overpriced items in zero-dollar raids

They should go to the bars in Patong and seize all the bottles of beer, my ex neighbour goes there and he says they are 200b for a bottle of Chang, if...(Read More)


Phuket police seize over B10mn worth of overpriced items in zero-dollar raids

What is 'overpriced' on Phuket? Tuk tuks? Yes. What they do to end that? Nothing. Taxis? Yes. With face towels over the taxi meter. What the...(Read More)


Patong Beach operators to curb infant parasail rides

Nice photo. Where in the world you see 3 persons hanging below a parasail chute? Answer: In Patong! Patong, where the Mayor is doing her very best t...(Read More)


Phuket taxi driver comes unstuck as tourist passes fake B500 banknote

Converting a 50 thb banknote into a fake 500 thb banknote is a funny joke. Both banknotes are so different from each other, that a receiver must be v...(Read More)


Silpakorn varsity panel probes sex act hazing claims

Where did these disgusting rituals take place? On student campus? If so, than Rector, Deans and Teachers have to explain themselves. It is impossib...(Read More)


'Ofo' launches bike sharing in Phuket Town

Great initiative! Now the next 1000 bikes to Patong!...(Read More)


Phuket police seize over B10mn worth of overpriced items in zero-dollar raids

Good start fore the Police in Phuket and continue with the great work, so maybe the Scandinavian Tourist like Sweden Denmark, Norway and Finland comin...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.