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Master Planning And Urban Design

Jnane El Hacira, Marakech, Morocco


Marrakech is one of the most famous tourist destination in the world. It is rich with culture and arts and gastronomy, a wonderful mix of Berber, Sub-Sahara and West African influences.

Jnane El Hecira is an existing 100 ha garden and ‘oliverie’ just outside the eastern wall of the old medina of Marrakech. Given its prime locality and size, the owners wanted a world-class development that would set a new benchmark in Marrakech. Compagnie Generale Immobiliere (CGI) appointed RDA-Harris to develop a master plan that would reflect the special identity and heritage of the city, while exploring optimal commercial potential, in particular high-heeled celebrities and patronage of the Marrakech Film Festival and similar international events. Due to proximity to the Palace, however, the authorities imposes a very low density planning control.

The master plan struck a happy compromise by retaining the original framework of the site (N-S road), splitting the ‘commercial’ zone and the quieter residentila villas, while the ‘peppiniere’ (nursey) serves as a common ‘cultural’ square and entry node / gateway linking the two as well as future link to the old medina via Bab Debagh.

Four options were presented. The final scheme has an overall GFA of 200,000 sq.m. or just over 2.0 million sq. ft.

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