AUTHOR: Sascha Roesler
CONTEXT: Exhibition presented at the Ecole Superieure d'Architecture in Casablanca, 3.-5.11.2011
During the final phases of the French protectorate over Morocco, two young Swiss architects – Andre Studer und Jean Hentsch – built a settlement in Casablanca that became known in historical architectural writing as «Habitat Marocain». The settlement, built between 1953 and 1955, is in the Sidi Othmann quarter and consists of three buildings: one tower block and two row developments.
I met Andre Studer in 2006 at his home near Zuerich, in order to talk to him about Habitat Marocain. What particularly interested me was the clearly formulated divide between a primary and a secondary building structure. Over the years, this divide has made it possible for residents to gradually transform the three buildings. The Habitat Marocain is an object lesson in the interactions between formal and informal forms of construction.