Photo credits © Odile Decq


The Tangier Med is a passengers harbour, dimensioned for trafic increasing up to 10 million passengers/year by 2020. It is inside a general harbour master plan for the first harbour of the Mediterranean area, containing equipments and amenities for all categories of passengers and trafic. The project is founded on the very rich and strong economic and cultural interactivity linking both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar and is the occasion to assert and experiment a new and uncomplicated form of relationship between them, translated in an ultramodern terminal. The project proposes to turn the symbolic value of its subject and site into a strong but friendly architecture, concerned by its environment as well as the comfort of its different categories of users. The project has to deal with powerful natural elements: sea, wind, sun; and is inserted in a site that is radical both for the bold natural beauty of its surroundings as for the violent presence of human genius; a harbour gained on the sea and the mountains.

Therefore the architectural project is gentle: ex- pressing in its shape the complex flux of travellers, cars, trucks and trains, protecting by its curves the migration movements from the elements. Curves of the main terminal, offering a bright and efficient shelter for queuing, check in and control; curves of the boarding lounge, detached from the former to shorten distances and enhance psychological comfort; curves of the footbridges, linking amenities and ships, allowing a total protected and horizontal passengers parcours in comfortable conditions.

The choice of construction materials is guided by environment constraints: sea atmosphere obliges to concrete construction. Then, the building process, based on precise geometrical definition, allows generalization of precasting on site. Waterproofing is realized with high resistant concrete topping, combining local craftmanship’s know-how and technology transfer. The terminal and boarding lounge are conceived with a double shell, allowing dynamic insulation through fresh air circulation between the outer concrete shell and the inner plaster shell.

The vast parking areas easily allow to install geothermic pipes.These two elements combined delete needs for air conditioning, assuring larger part of climate inside the building by passive resources. Complementary energy is partly produced by the wind through equipments installed for the needs of the harbour area. The clear interior spaces limit artificial lighting. The exterior lighting deals with the presence of bird migration: up lights are strictly avoided; the different areas are enlightened in colours chosen in the spectrum of sun’s dawn; light is always close to the ground, the different colours allow easy identification of each area.

Tangier, Morocco
Competition Winning Project