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© Stefano Berca


Project Name:Mohammed VI Soccer Academy     Type of Project:Soccer club, training center, natural reserve Client:Académie Mohammed VI de Football Location:Salé, Morocco Architects:Groupe3Architectes         Area: 9000m²     Engineering consultant: Novec    Landscape architect:MouniaBennani           Project completion date:2011     Photographer:Stefano Berca


The Mohammed VI Soccer Academy is a project situated on a 25 ha lot of the shelf of the city of Salé, nearby Sala El Jadida. Almost half of the lot is dedicated to the training center, whereas the remaining land is shared between a soccer club for the children of Rabat and Salé and a natural reserve.

The designated project of the Academy is constituted of two main entities with highly contrasting scales:
- The large space (corresponding to the playgrounds and the open-air activities) with its long walking lanes, its depth of field and clear skyline; this is the zone of effort and strategy-training for the game.
- The village, a neat composition of white masses organized into poles of activity around a central
Plaza, is marked by its inviting and familiar proportions, which contrast with the vast open space and suggest a notion of protection and intimacy.

The village is the living core of the academy, with its spatial organization is a key element for it contributes, by its relevance, to the educational purpose of the project and plays a part in the psychological well-being of the youngsters. The village is an instance of modest and functional architecture, mirrored by the rigor of the sport while altogether being rich with its spatiality.
The different buildings, each dedicated to a certain type of activity, are arranged around the square-shaped plaza, thus sheltering a specific universe. This organization allows the re-creation of the valuable domestic spaces, as well as the induction of mobilities that create dynamism and provide a certain rhythm to that particular space on a daily basis. The buildings are generally introverted, re-centered around their patios or internal landscapes. Uniting the whole assembly, the central plaza is the place of gathering and exchange; it’s the junction knot of all flows and activities.