The Rabat-Salé Infrastructure Project is part of a 6,000 hectares development of the Bouregreg Valley which aims to rehabilitate and promote the banks of the Bouregreg River to offer a pleasant place to live for the people of Rabat and Salé.
The Project is structured in a way as to create new urban spaces which are in harmony with the history and the site environment. The development involves building of public transport works and the establishment of various hydraulic and port developments.
The Infrastructure Project in the Bouregreg Valley forwards a full-fledged city which is a creative and daring but still a respectful development of the prestigious character of this historical site and pays attention to its preservation.
The Hassan II Bridge designed by Marc Mimram Architecture of Paris links Rabat and Salé to form an urban hub, relieving both cities’ historic sites and populations of atmospheric and sound pollution. The design respects the overwhelming horizontality of the built and natural environments, allowing Rabat’s 12th-century Hassan Tower to retain its vertical dominance of the skyline.
The bridge has three separate carriageways; tramway, two vehicular roads, on the same level which are supported by structural arches. The bridge has two separate decks which are maintained over the regular, shorter spans of the Salé viaduct but are united as the asymmetrical structure curves into the nautical base bridge on the Rabat side.
The concrete supports which subtly vary in their arced forms, are deliberately delicate and are lace-like in appearance.
The bridge not only provides transport connections, but the structure also offers an urban roof over the alluvial plain of the Bouregreg River hence creating a protected public space for markets and leisure activities.
The project is a successful outcome of the combination of exemplary bridge design, infrastructure improvement and urban planning. The Hassan II Bridge has become a new iconic symbol of Rabat-Salé, reinforcing a modern, progressive, twin-city identity and laying a sound basis for future infrastructure development.
Jury Citation on Selection for the Aga Khan Award For Architecture 2013
“The promise generated by the new Hassan II Bridge anticipates a long-term vision of the cities of Rabat and Salé. Its planning provides opportunities for future development and successfully combines a bridge design with urban planning, landscape and infrastructure improvements. The dynamic complexity of time-based planning is coordinated in multiple layers, providing immediate improvements as well as incremental developments and future opportunities. The ambition of the designer challenges the ordinary boundary of transportation infrastructure and engineering by extending the Bridge beyond the river banks and creating a space for future public activity. The project is a sophisticated and cohesive model for future infrastructure projects, especially in places of rapid urbanisation.”
“The Bridge profile is low, acting as an impressive horizontal extension of an existing flat plateau, presenting respectful views of the Hassan Tower. Built with great care and high quality of detailing and construction precision, the Bridge has a thin profile and elegant, fluid geometry. It is a pivotal icon, reinforcing the identity of the place, and symbolises a new progressive future for the twin cities.”
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