Populous and Oualalou + Choi Win Global Architectural Design Competition for Morocco’s Grand Stade de Casablanca

March 20, 2024

Stadium projected to be the largest in world football

A consortium led by architects Oualalou + Choi and Populous has been awarded the contract to design the planned 115,000-capacity Grand Stade de Casablanca stadium in Morocco, projected to be the largest football stadium in the world.

The selection by the country’s National Agency for Public Facilities (ANEP) follows the completion of an international architectural design competition, which included proposals by firms Herzog & De Meuron, Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners, Cruz y Ortiz, GMP Architects and HPP Architects.

The stadium will be fully compliant for FIFA competitions, with the ability to host games at the FIFA World Cup 2030, following Morocco’s naming as joint hosts for the tournament alongside Spain and Portugal. It will also serve as the home of two local clubs.

Preparation for groundworks to start is underway on a 100-hectare site in the town of El Mansouria, in the province of Benslimane, 38 km north of Casablanca, after public financing was approved in October 2023.

Oualalou + Choi and Populous’ winning scheme draws inspiration from the traditional social gathering of Morocco known as a ‘moussem’, with the stadium structure set under a grand, tented roof that emerges as a dramatic intervention in the forested landscape.

Engineering firms Maffeis Engineering, ME Engineering, Rider Levett Bucknall, Momentum, and SEPSI complete the design team.

Christopher Lee, Managing Director at Populous for the EMEA region, comments:

“We are very proud to have been selected for this prestigious project, with our partners Oualalou + Choi. The Grand Stade de Casablanca is an iconic, landmark venue for the citizens of Casablanca and Morocco that will become one of the great stadia of the world.”

Tarik Oualalou, Design Principal and founding partner at Oualalou + Choi and Lead Architect for the project, comments:

“The Grand Stade de Casablanca is deeply rooted in Moroccan culture, with its traditions and contemporary expressions. It is rooted in ancient and primordial figures: the Moussem, the tent, and the garden, as well as the topography and landscapes of Morocco.  It’s a generous space, open to the world and respectful to the Nature it protects. The Grand Stade de Casablanca is the embodiment of the great tradition of Moroccan hospitality.”

François Clément, Senior Principal, President of Populous France and Lead Architect for the project, adds:

“The Grand Stade de Casablanca is a cornerstone of King Mohammed VI’s vision to develop Morocco’s football infrastructure. The stadium will be compliant with FIFA standards, allowing it to host the major games in the world’s most prestigious international competitions, including the World Cup 2030. The pace of construction works expected in Benslimane demonstrates the commitment of all parties involved to deliver this incredible project on time and within budget. It will be an immense asset to the country, elevating Morocco to the highest global platform of sporting infrastructure development.”


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