Located in the heart of the Souissi district in Rabat, Morocco, Groupe3 Architectes’ Wifaq Sports Club benefits from a rich landscape heritage, which reflects the agricultural past of the city’s suburbs, whose traces are still present in the area. Tall trees and dense windbreak hedges enclose the site and protect it from its immediate environment, while fruit trees and jacarandas embellish the different playgrounds dedicated to various sports.
Upon entering, visitors are met with a series of modest-sized buildings scattered across the site, which Groupe3 Architectes have developed with respect both to the heritage of the club and to the predominantly residential surroundings. The architectural and landscape project gives Wifaq Club new ambitions in terms of programming, visual identity and spatial experience, with a series of actions including: densifying the northern half of the site to preserve the landscape quality of the southern half and its rehabilitated tennis courts; digging into the ground to build high-rise volumes and insert the stands of the centre court; and imagining a vegetated parking area right in front of the street.
Particular care was given to natural light and the obsession of horizon planes, expressed through the white flat roofs and cantilevers of different materials (facades made of hammered stone from khenifra and wooden blades), which contribute to the creation of a new living space both contemporary and rooted in its history. The architects have managed to maintain magic and serenity of the site in the new garden of sports and well-being, while honouring the memory of the club and the district.
As seen on Designboom