Groupe3Architectes designs a fitness club in Morocco with a contextual response to its surroundings
Morocco’s Groupe3Architectes has designed a wellness and sports centre, called Club Wifaq. It is located in the heart of the Souissi district in Rabat, an exclusive and largely private housing estate on the outskirts of the city. The club’s more tranquil and wooded surroundings help set the premise of the project which aims to encourage sports activities among residents.
Surrounded by dense and tall windbreak hedges, the site is introverted, shielding it from the open view. The landscape around the site reflects the agricultural heritage of the suburbs of Rabat, characterised by its tall coniferous trees which are typically the orchards’ windbreak hedges. The landscaping features fruit trees and jacarandas adding to the wellness vibe of the venue.
Keeping to the context of the site, which is surrounded by low-lying houses, the structure of Club Wifaq, too, blends into its surroundings. However, the architects have designed the facility with a measured response with respect to its immediate environment, so as to not only be a fitness retreat, but also have a strong commercial value.
The architecture firm says: “The main issue at stake concerning our intervention was how to maintain this suburban sanctuary and protect the landscape’s relics while organising the conditions of its development. By densifying the northern half of the site to preserve the landscape quality of the southern half and its rehabilitated tennis courts, we created higher volumes and placed the centre court. By imagining a vegetated parking area right in front of the street, the architectural and landscape project helps promote club Wifaq’s heritage while giving it new ambitions in terms of programming, visual identity and spatial experience.”