Picture Perfect: Casablanca's 10 Must-Visit Architectural Spots
The white-washed city is a treasure full of architectural gems, inspired from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles and Moorish heritage. Ask our concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca to arrange a visit to discover the city’s rich architectural history.
Tucked away in a side street off Boulevard Mohammed V is an art-deco cinema theatre built in 1930. The beautiful piece of architecture showcases the Art Deco style in its façade and interior and is perhaps the best known gem of the Art Deco period.
Bank Al Maghrib
Located in the downtown core, the building of the central bank of Morocco - Bank Al Maghrib - combines new architecture and neo-Moroccan styles. On its facade, carved stone replaces tilework, a technique typical in neo-Moorish style. The bank’s Art Deco interior is decorated with zellij patterns and Italian marquetry creating Amazigh patterns in the building’s boardroom.
Across the street from Bank Al Maghrib, discover the city’s oldest post office building built in 1918 by Adrien Laforgue, whose architecture is a blend of of neo-Moorish, Art Deco and Art Nouveau design.
Build by the French, Casablanca’s Habous quarter is a combination of traditional buildings including Moroccan riads, mosques, administrative buildings and hammams. The beautiful mix of different styles of Moroccan architecture makes the Habous Quarter a fascinating area to wander around.
The Mahkama du Pacha
Also known as the Pacha’s courthouse, this is the administrative building of the Habous area, famous for its turquoise carved wooden doorways and breathtaking stucco and patios that display Moorish influences. It rivals some of the finest architectural gems in the country.
The Villa Zevaco
Villa Zevaco, formally called Villa Sami Suissa, was built in 1947 by architect Jean-Francois Zevaco and soon became an iconic building because of its beauty, modernity and originality. The modernist villa now houses a trendy café.
Villa du Docteur B
This round modernist home with ocean views once housed a doctor and his family and today operates as a cultural centre. The object of curiosity for locals, the villa has also been nicknamed “Villa Camembert” due to its shape.
Hassan II Mosque
A visit to Casablanca would not be complete without visiting the world’s 3rd largest mosque. The Hassan II mosque is considered today a symbol of the ancestral craftsmanship of Moroccan architecture with its beautiful mosaics, marble floors, columns and painted wood ceilings. The exterior surfaces of the mosque display bronze and granite finishes ornamented with pale blue marble and zellige.
Notre Dame de Lourdes
The recently renovated modern church on the edge of the French inspired district is one of the city’s most beautiful churches, and praised for its intricate stained glass window – a creation of the famous French artist Gabriel Loire. Notre Dame de Lourdes church is one of only two Catholic churches in the city, and was built in the 1950s.
The Cas’Arts building is hailed as Africa’s largest theatre and has been designed by the French-Moroccan duo Christian de Portzamparc and Rachid Andaloussi.