The United States of America and the Kingdom of Morocco trace friendly relations back to the Revolutionary War, when American ships were granted access to Moroccan ports. Since formalizing this alliance through the Treaty of Friendship and Peace in 1787, the United States has remained Morocco’s proud partner. The new U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca exemplifies the strong past and future diplomatic relations between our two countries.
The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) awarded the construction contract in September 2019 and anticipates completion in 2024. Throughout this project, an estimated $100 million will be invested in the local economy, and the project will employ an estimated workforce of over 500 American, Moroccan, and third-country nationals throughout construction.
Design & Construction
The new Consulate’s 6.9-acre site is extensively landscaped with a careful organization of buildings and gardens, often making use of shared walls. The gardens blend contemporary American style with Morocco’s diverse historic influences, creating a symbol of the many connections between Morocco and the United States.
Canary Island Palms and water features help guide visitors to their destination, while providing shade and relief from the heat. The gardens will host planned events and impromptu gatherings, as well as spontaneous interactions of visitors, students, and staff. Morocco’s traditional crafts and visual motifs inspired the façade’s stainless steel panels that subtly undulate as they wrap the building. The panels’ perforations are carefully located and sized to allow light into the building where needed for internal functions. This dynamic composition changes with the weather, season, and time of day, reflecting the sun to shimmer at sunrise but projecting light out at sunset — not unlike a Moroccan brass lantern.
The central gathering space, at the physical and functional heart of the building, will support the whole of the community: all-hands meetings, representational ceremonies, and informal events. When the weather is mild, the gallery will take advantage of the gardens, with open doors to create a large indoor/outdoor space.
Resiliency & Stewardship
The project has taken the lead from Morocco’s traditional building methods, using the garden’s lush plantings to create welcoming spaces while shading the building to protect occupants from glare and solar heat gain. The façade’s screen functions similarly, while also allowing natural light into the occupied spaces. The site and building design blurs the line between the indoor and the outdoor, offering intimate landscape views from within the building, as well as easy, direct access to the gardens, which improve air quality throughout the campus.
Targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) version 4.1 Silver Certification, sustainable features include a solar photovoltaic system to improve energy efficiency and efficient water fixtures and a water runoff recovery system that conserve natural resources. The selected native plants require less irrigation, while the fountains collect rainwater for irrigation as needed. The heating and ventilation system uses air-to-air energy recovery with a dedicated chiller to reduce electrical demand.
Curated by OBO’s Office of Art in Embassies, the permanent art collection will include paintings, photographs, textiles, and sculptures by American and Moroccan artists. The collection seeks to create a dialogue based on shared values between the people of our two nations. Highlights will include site-specific commissioned works that reflect the diversity and richness of American and Moroccan cultural heritage.