Ifrane, Morocco

Ifrane was built as a hill station in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, with a design based on the garden city principles.

Garden City Type: Mixed (housing association / municipality / other)
Country: Morocco
City: Ifrane
Years of construction:
1928 Start construction
Initiator/client: Service d'urbanisme (Urban Planning Dept.) French Protectorate, Morocco
Architect or related:
Service d'urbanisme

In French Morocco (1912-1956), the Service d'urbanisme was responsable for the planning all new towns. It was run by architect Henri Prost, who was reponsable to the Resident General, Maréchal Lyautey. Lyautey took a very active interest in urban planning, having created the Service d'urbanisme and recruited architects for

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Heritage status: No
General condition of Garden City: Good condition

General description

Ifrane was planned in 1928 to be both a garden city (design) and a hill station (resort town in the mountains for colonial officials and their families). It is still a popular mountain resort today, though only the oldest neighborhoods (built 1928-1956) correspond to garden city design.

Architecture / Urban planning

The architectural style adopted was intended to heighten the appearance and feeling of home. The houses were therefore built in traditional European styles and resembled those in the suburbs of French cities of that era. High-pitched roofs and gables are hallmarks of Ifrane’s colonial-era holiday homes.

The urban design was modelled on garden city principles: low density housing with fully detached or semi-detached single family homes, surrounded by gardens. Houses could occupy only 40% of plots; the rest had to be planted as a garden. The street plan was laid out with curving tree-lined streets; large parts of the town center consisted of public gardens.

Recent developments

Urban expansion of Ifrane since Morocco's independence has not followed garden city principles. Many of the original cottages of the colonial era have been knocked down and replaced with apartment blocks.