• Marrakech-Menara Airport Extension/ E2A Architecture

Architects: E2A Architecture  
Location: Marrakech,  Morocco
Project Year: 2008
Photographer: de Pretto Serge

Year(s) of construction: 2006-2008
Floor Area: 15,300 m2
Technical data: Overall length: 183metres, Overall width: 84metres (12m 48 m 24 m), Height: 13.70 - 15.80 meters

The International Airport of Marrakech-Menara serves international flights from and to Europe as well as domestic flights. It is located 6 km southwest of downtown city center and 7km of the Djemaa el-Fna.

The project is focusses around three main ideas: -

  1. Give a contemporary and modern picture in the architecture of the airport of Marrakech Menara while reserving the Moroccan tradition,
  2. Develop a friendly and safe functional space,
  3. Implement a new modernity using traditional and today’s materials and techniques.

The spaces incorporated in the project include cafes, a small souk where local crafts are sold, two terminals, parking for 360 vehicles and services which include a medical centre and a chapel.
One of the terminals serves the international flights while the other serves the domestic flights

E2A Architecture studio were commissioned to develop the new terminal extension for the airport. The studio developed an extension that presents a space where the light comes in filtered by the arabesques that cover the windows and enriches the visual contact between the inside and the outside, a structure that's reminiscent of typical wire mesh combined with some modern touches.

This is contrary to the existent structure where the extension offers a set of lights and shadows in every hour of the day, giving the new terminal a particular brightness.

 

The set’s facade is constitutes 24 rhombuses and 3 triangles. The triangles are located above front-doors measuring 12mx6m. They are then dressed in white aluminium from which they are filled in a glazing which has ancient stylized Islamic ornamental motifs printed on it.

The interiors is of pure Moroccan traditions.

The floors are made from granite and the interior columns which continue the rhomboid shape of the whole structure are lined with sheets of plasterboard and in some cases combined with wood at medium altitude.

The rest areas are equipped with sofas and armchairs decorated with fabrics typical of the region.

The roof is made by a skeleton of steel which goes on towards the outside forming shade of 24m of cantilever. This cover supports photovoltaic pyramids, in a package that represents some 15,300 meters square. There are small plates which mimic the designs of mosaics found in traditional Islamic architecture while allowing light to enter through the skylights. This mosaic pattern masks contemporary technology so that many travelers are only a continuation of the other traditional motifs that decorate the space of the enclosure.

 

The contemporary extension fuses smoothly with the Moroccan tradition that has been preserved in the original terminal.

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