Abandoned since Morocco's independence, the Bessonneau building, also known as the Lincoln, will be renovated and opened to the public by 2025, according to the Réalités group, the new purchaser of the building's walls and goodwill. The hotel group Radisson Hotels & Resorts will manage the hotel.
Built in 1916 by Hubert Bride on Avenue Mohamed V, this large Arts Deco building was one of the many Moorish gems built in Morocco before decolonization. Built on a 2800 m² plot, it once housed about sixty apartments and several shops. Over the years, the climate and pollution, its facade has become blackened and part of the building has fallen into complete ruin, although the hotel has been classified as a historical heritage site since 2000.
The “first prototype for the revival of other heritage buildings in Casablanca.”
But fortunately for lovers of neo-Moorish architecture and Moroccan heritage, the REALITES group has teamed up with an international architectural firm to rehabilitate this treasure of yesteryear. Planned for 2025, the entire work represents 33 million euros to rehabilitate some 13,500 m² and the creation of 120 hotel rooms.
“We cannot understand Casablanca if we look at it with nostalgia and say that it was better before. You have to look at how its heritage has lived, and wonder about its perpetual inventions,” says Tarik Oualalou, architect in charge of the project.
“It is a beautiful story that we will write together, for Casablanca, for its inhabitants, for a new clientele of business and citybreakers” added Yoann Choin-Joubert, CEO of the REALITES group.