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Architecture typical of the 1950s

The Maison du Maroc was designed by the architects Albert Laprade, Jean Vernon, Bruno Philippe and Jean Walter.

The architects designed two pavilions, one with 161 rooms and one with 48. The architecture of the Maison du Maroc is typical of the fifties, with its simple aesthetic. Its façades are smooth and regularly punctuated with square windows. It is distinguishable by its glazed-tile roofs that evoke traditional Moroccan architecture, well known by Albert Laprade, who stayed in Morocco for five years at the beginning of his career to work on the urban plans of Casablanca. At the Cité internationale he also participated in the design of the Fondation Abreu de Grancher, of the Résidence Lucien Paye and of the university restaurant in the west of the park. There is a particular local colouring in the monumental zellij door and the mosaic of the entrance hall recalls a Moroccan rug.

Double financing

On the 4th of July 1949 the Moroccan government signed a convention to construct the Maison du Maroc at the Cité internationale. It is made up of two distinct pavilions : the first was financed by the Moroccan state whilst the second was financed by Jean Walter, the founder of the Zellidja stock exchange who made his fortune thanks to a mining society that he owned in the Moroccan village of Zellidja. The building opened its doors to students in October 1953.

The house holds the status of a foundation and is recognised as a public utility of which the board of directors is chaired by the Moroccan ambassador in France.

A completely renovated house

Another renovation was undertaken twenty-five years later in 2008 by the Moroccan architect Mohammed Fikri Benabdallah. The works were essentially carried out to improve comfort. The second pavilion was assigned to researchers. Thanks to this optimisation, the Maison du Maroc now has 229 rooms (174 rooms and 55 studios).

Traditional patterns

In 1982, the building was renovated by André Paccard, a specialist in traditional Islamic crafts and the director of the technical offices of the Royal Palace of Rabat. With the support of highly-skilled Moroccan craftsmen, he introduced traditional motifs into the building, such as the monumental entrance door, the Moroccan lounge and the Andalusian patio.

Famous alumnus

Mohammed Allal Sinaceur is a Moroccan philosopher, writer and politician. A member of the Académie du Royaume du Maroc, he was the director of the division of philosophy and human sciences at Unesco.