Pathway Of Belonging: Multi-Function Skyscraper In Morocco For Immigrants

Pathway Of Belonging: Multi-Function Skyscraper In Morocco For Immigrants

Honorable Mention
2021 Skyscraper Competition

Leonie Blum, Katharina Frank, Ritaj Albaje, Simon Sundin

The history of man is a story of nomads, travelers, and migrants. Even though we had a year of unprecedented restriction in movement due to a pandemic, the demand for free movement will not disappear. Humankind has always been on the move.

However, not all move by lust or a sense of discovery. Sometimes you need to leave your home country. Poverty, war, family, love, the reasons why we migrate are as many as there are immigrants. But when you have arrived many of the struggles are similar. Understanding where you are, the customs of the new place, finding a job, learning a new language, and making a home for yourself.

The skyscraper named ‘Pathway of Belonging’ is located in Morocco. A quickly developing country which in recent migration history has only been a pit-stop for people seeking a new life in Europe. However, due to its growing economy, is Morocco now an attractive destination country for immigrants. A significant number of sub-Saharan Africans now call Morocco their home (ca 700 000 people in a country of 34 million). This building is for them to use.

It offers a place where you can take a break from the arduous work of establishing yourself in a new country. A safe space where you can re-experience the places you left behind. Partake in activities you had back where you grew up. Smell the scents, taste familiar foods, play your favorite games, meet new people and speak your language. Here you find an abundance of activities and architectural typologies. It introduces both the migrant and the locals to new cultures and people, helping them meet and exchange traditions in a more relaxed and creative environment.

The program of the building and the experiences within are dictated by the immigrants themselves. Designed to grow over time as immigrant populations fluctuate, the building is purposely unfinished. By adding more units on top of each other, it provides spaces for future migrants to live out their cultures and traditions.

The skyscraper is composed of three elements. The first element is the courtyard in the core, which is directly related to Moroccan architecture. In the Islamic culture, courtyards are utilized to separate private and public life. This function is translated into the building. It furthermore enhances the connection between levels and connects the floor slabs visually, whilst forming the entrance point to the tower.

The second element is the floor slabs which function as a pathway through the building as they spiral up to the rooftop. The pathway is not only used for circulation, it occasionally opens up to generous common spaces that invite socializing across cultural lines.

The third element is the units. Around the perimeter of the building, a multitude of units is stacked, encircling the courtyard and the floor slabs. Accessible from the pathway, most of the programmed activities take place here. All units are built in a simple modular fashion but with room for expression in the facades. The units come in a variety of sizes to accommodate various activities.

The purpose of the project is to create spaces all people feel welcome in. To provide room for activities to people from a multitude of cultures and persuasions and to give back to the migrants and the community. Music, arts, food, and performance are just a few examples. The tower creates a safe space of tolerance and understanding which leads to a sense of belonging and pride for the users, whilst enhancing cultural exchange and feeding curiosity. A building for all who wish to walk the pathway to belonging.

Pathway Of Belonging: Multi-Function Skyscraper In Morocco For Immigrants Board 1
Pathway Of Belonging: Multi-Function Skyscraper In Morocco For Immigrants Board 2


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