Work has just commenced on the 28 million euro regeneration of the historic Old Medina of Casablanca in Morocco. Designs for a Foster + Partners-designed tower cluster in the quarter’s harbour area were originally revealed last year. The scheme incorporates housing, commercial space, a science park and library, and a marina – the city’s first - to attract tourists and businesses to the country’s largest city.
The marina will accommodate 200 moorings and a cruise ship terminal. Existing fishing vessels and fishing channels will be relocated to a more efficient space in order to create a better working environment for the local fishermen.
Construction sites in the Casablanca Port area will remain in keeping with the architectural integrity of the old town, preserving the region’s environmental and built heritage.
The regeneration works include creating a 3.7 km tourist pathway winding through the medina and connecting with the new cruise ship terminal via all the major heritage attractions. The historic Old Medina is one of Morocco’s most important cultural sites and the country’s largest medina, dating to the sixth century.
The restoration of the Old Medina is the second phase of the 530 million euro Wessal Casa-Port project, with work on the port redevelopment starting last week. Some 2,000 jobs have already been created in the construction of the project, with a further 6,000 planned for additional project activity. The public-private partnership is due for completion in five years.
The works are being funded by Wessal Capital, an investment fund established in 2011 to finance transformational tourism and real estate projects in Morocco. An initiative of King Mohammed VI, it has a unique shareholding structure funded in equal share by five sovereign wealth funds.