S a s s e l b e r g s
M a c k a m a d u P a c h a
Mackama du Pacha is a courthouse located in the city of Casablanca. It is built in 1952 by August Cadet in the Habous quarter. The building is housing the court of justice and at the same time functions as a state reception room.
This is a precedent study that, together with a group member, we analysed during the first period of our graduation studio. Studying this project was helpfull in order to understand the logic behind the design, layout and materiality within a specific building in Casablanca, together with understanding the design and layout of the Habous quarter of Casablanca. By doing so, this created awareness in a culture that is different from my own and helped to develop a deeper knowledge in the way buildings and neighbourhoods are designed in the city. Thereby this was a useful tool in developing my graduation project: Framing the Ocean.
This was my precedent study in 2018.
The composition and detailing
Mackama du Pacha can be seen as a composition of exterior spaces. We analysed the relationship between these different spaces and how this is articulated in the form and way of representation in this building.
The two smaller patios, located in the front of the building, are richly decorated with colourful mosaics and plaster. They are part of the reception function of Mackama du Pacha. The details and refinement in these patios are impeccable. Although the patios are outdoor spaces, they seem to be part of the interior. Opposite to this refined appearance, is the more grand and stately appearance of the courtyard, which is part of the justice function. This courtyard is clearly outdoors and corresponds with the exterior of the building, in terms of scale, form and materiality.
Representation and ratio
Throughout the whole building the ratios and logics of the elements are carefully thought of and reappear in every layer of the design. The facades of the courtyard and the smaller patios are mathematically proportioned on multiple levels. The facade itself is divided in parts by the arches leading up to a bigger arch functioning as an entrance block in the middle.
Within the arches there are specific measurements of the height and width of the base and the radius of the circles that form the arch. The relations between base and arch all derived from a 1/3 ratio. Looking more closely to the detailing, even here we find that this is not just pretty mosaics on a wall. The patterns are formed of mathematic calculations and are based on the construction of different forms such as circles, squares and traingles. The repitition of the decoration is emphasizing the rhythm of the facades.
Mackama du Pacha can be identified by a structure of which the outside reacts with the inside and where rough and grand elements are alternated with refined and detailed elements. Transition spaces connect these characteristics and complete the composition of this building.
The building in relation to the Habous
In the video (click on link below) we enlarged our scope of analyses. In the video, a comparative study of the Mackama du Pacha with the Habous is shown.
This neighbourhood is comparable with Mackama on multiple levels. The Habous is constructed out similar components such as patios, courtyards and transition spaces. The appearance and representation of these elements alternate between grand, rough structures and more detailed, colourful structures. Only this time these characteristics are the result of human actions, instead of solemnly architectural implementations as seen in Mackama du Pacha.
Programs used for this project are: Sketch-up, Photoshop, AutoCad, Illustrator and InDesign.