A contemporary residence in Casablanca uses sinuous solid forms to provide privacy for the resident
Designed by Mohamed Amine Siana, Villa Z sits on a 1,100m2 plot and draws inspiration from Morocco’s architectural heritage.
Working in accordance to strict city regulations that confined the building to a tight square-shaped site, Siana’s priorities included creating a design language that moves beyond the sense of being in a cube, answering the client’s programme and routine, and ultimately finding the best way to preserve the client’s privacy and protect them from the noise pollution of a nearby avenue.
According to the architect, Villa Z’s design centres on the opacity of the main façade and combines the principles of traditional Moroccan architecture, like ecological and passive cooling techniques for the inside spaces, with a contemporary identity that informed the structure’s graceful forms, as seen in its curving front exterior.
“From the very beginning of working on the project, it was important to avoid the squareness of the premises,” said Siana. “And the circular form of the skylight was the best solution and a harmonious way to valorise the curves of the building.”
He added, “The other openings in the ceilings are circular lighting fixtures, while we also used carved wood panels throughout, which mark the different spaces of the house.”
According to Siana, traditional modernism has been commonly practiced among architects in Casablanca in recent years and Villa Z blends into its environment, while maintaining a character of its own. New architecture across the Moroccan city has been transitioning from the traditionally private spaces to more open design, he said.
While the front-facing façade is entirely solid, the back of the house opens to a private pool through sliding glass doors. Blocking the neighbourhood view, too, are the desert-friendly vegetation that was planted around the villa, like different cacti, aloe vera and palm trees.