Moroccan Modern Architecture in the Ancient Roman City of Volubilis

Volubilis Visitor Center

Travelers to Morocco’s imperial cities Marrakech, Casablanca, and Rabat have noticed that the country is booming with modern architecture. In addition to the North African country’s iconic Islamic architecture displayed in mosques, riads, and fine restaurants, there is a series of impressive emerging public projects.

One intriguing architectural project to keep an eye on is the Volubilis Visitor Center by Casablanca based Architecture firm Oualalou & Choi.

The Volubilis Visitor Center began construction in 2011 in Meknes, near one of Morocco’s most important archaeological sites. In order not to interfere with the aesthetic of the 11th-century town, the Volubilis visitor center is respectfully embedded into the hillside. The project is mostly complete however not yet open to the public.

The building consists of wooden volumes along an extended retaining wall. They are suspended and appear to blend into the rolling hills. the structure is eight meters wide by two hundred meters long.

This is not the first time modern architecture has been on the rise in Morocco. Since it’s inauguration in 2017, the prestigious Marrakech Yves Saint Laurent Museum was admired for its duality of curves and straight lines. The facade stands out for its intersection of lace-like bricks and cube patterns. The International Menara Airport is another project that has impressed designers and architecture enthusiasts worldwide. The airport has an architecture that allows for natural light to filter in by a pattern of Arabesque lattice wire meshings covering the building facade.

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