Balancing global styles with Moroccan standards, a geometric concrete home catches the eye without sticking out.
In a family photo, everyone might share the same eyes or nose or smile, but you can immediately spot the one with an extra spark, the spirit of adventure. So too the Casablanca, Morocco, house of architect Mehdi Berrada. Though similar in size and shape to other area homes, it stands out while blending in. It’s an original.
“It belongs, but it doesn’t. It isn’t a house that says, ‘Look at me,’” Mehdi says. “It’s a house that says, ‘I’m free.’”
Mehdi was born in France to Moroccan parents and they moved to Casablanca when he was three. He grew up there in houses designed by his architect father, who created bright, white homes with pure lines that melded Le Corbusier’s International Style with local vernacular. Today Mehdi has his own firm, designing houses, factories, retail spaces, and hotels.
He loves the city’s contrasts. Palm trees line elegant boulevards, while the ancient medina is a river of humanity channeled through a maze of alleyways, filled with pedestrians jostling with vendors for space. On Mehdi’s narrow residential street, the din diminishes, and even more so behind his perimeter walls. Thick tropical vegetation—false bananas, yellow canna lilies and fig trees—surrounds the house. “It’s a nest in the middle of city noises, a bunker in the jungle,” he says.
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