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Imperial Casablanca Hotel & Spa

Find out more about the history and design of this emblematic building.

HISTORY

In the 30s the succession of Art Deco style and the ornamental profusion gave place to simplicity. At that time the famous oil company Shell ordered Marius Boyer (a world renowned architect responsible of numerous buildings including the headquarters of the Wilaya) the design of what then became known as the “Shell Building”: an innovative project using techniques still rare even in Europe. Used as the head office of Shell, this modern and sleek building became since its construction in 1934 a major landmark of Casablanca.

During World War II, the building was requisitioned by the American army as headquarters to many operations led by General Patton. Once peace was restored, the building recognized by its Shell adornments often received visits of Her Royal Highness Queen of the Netherlands and her husband, inadvertently contributing to the history of this building, revealed today as a hotel by its new owners.

DESIGN

Perfectly tailored, the building arches slightly in its center marrying into the curves of its setting. Above the colonnade of the ground floor, the building is streaked with horizontal strips interrupted on the fourth floor by two vertical bays highlighting its round corners. The slightly setback continuous strip on the fifth floor is ornamented with a timepiece in the middle and shell shaped logos on both sides.

The dark and discreet curtain covers made of glass tiles dotted with cabochons of golden brass and stony transoms emphasize the purity of the dominant bands that surround the building.