When it was added to the park in 1984, the Morocco Pavilion brought a new continent to Epcot’s World Showcase. Morocco’s King Hassan II wanted to ensure his nation would be accurately represented, so he sent some of his finest craftsmen—or maalems—to assist Disney Imagineers, architects, and builders in the Pavilion’s construction. What resulted was some of the most exquisite architectural detailing ever put into a Disney park.
The Pavilion takes inspiration from Casablanca, Marrakesh, Rabat, and Fez, and, like these Moroccan cities, is divided into two distinct sections: the new city—or ville nouvelle—and the old city—or Medina. The Medina’s entrance is accessed through a gateway modeled after the Bab Boujouloud in Fez. Such gates serve as protection to the old cities, but Epcot’s was given a less intimidating façade.
Because Imagineers want their park spaces seem larger than they actually are, they incorporated building features that sort of trick the mind into believing the space continues on beyond its boundaries. Layering of spaces works especially well in the Morocco Pavilion, utilizing themed lighting, arches, and silhouettes that imply the marketplace goes on past what we can see.
Archways in buildings and bridges have been architectural features for thousands of years. Today, experiment with the arch to see first-hand how it provides stability as well as aesthetics to these structures. Squidoo provides an excellent homeschool assignment: Bridge Lessons on Forces, Arch Bridges, and Truss Bridges. They suggest reading materials and offer detailed descriptions of each, incorporating easy-to-perform demonstrations that require only on-hand supplies.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Architecture
SKILL LEVEL: Upper Elementary / Middle Grades
 The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot. New York: Disney Editions, 2006.
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