Eco-design: Marrakech Menera Airport

Posted by Ian on Nov 11, 2008 in blog | One Comment

Traveling through Marrakech’s Menara Airport yesterday, I was struck by the aesthetic design of the building – seamlessly fusing contemporary eco-technology with traditional arabic and Islamic design motifs.
Constructed between 2006-2008, the airport terminal is a fine example of contemporary architecture and design. The facade’s windows are etched with a ornate design motif typical of Moroccan design. The skylights in the ceiling of the main terminal also feature a series of arranged small solar panels which help to offset the carbon footprint of the terminal.
What is interesting about the design of the solar panels is that the choice to use small solar tiles rather than custom, large-sized panels both allows light to enter the terminal through the skylights (further reducing the need for internal lighting) but they also mimic mosaic tile designs found in much traditional arabic and Islamic architecture and design. So successful is the aesthetic masking of the contemporary technology through the mosaic pattern, that many travelers see them as only continuation of the other traditional design motifs of the space.
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1 Comment

  1. [dave]
    11 November 2008

    that airport looks pretty great.

    hey have you seen the british airways commercial where the airport is an aquarium? love to hear you parse it …


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