Studio KO celebrates Yves Saint Laurent with a stunning museum in Marrakech.
A lace-like brickwork facade and an interior inspired by a couture jacket lining are some of the fashion-inspired features of Studio KO‘s Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech.
Dedicated to the work of legendary couturier Yves Saint Laurent, the 4,000-square-metre building is the first dedicated fashion museum in Africa; it includes permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, a research library with over 6,000 volumes, a 150-seat auditorium, and a bookstore and terrace cafe.
In addition, the museum houses a conservation archive and laboratory that will store and upkeep part of the extensive collection of clothing, haute-couture accessories and drawings belonging to the Fondation Pierre Bergé.
Its exterior incorporates terracotta brickwork designed to recall the warp and weft of fabric, as well as curved and angular volumes in earthen-coloured terrazzo that the French architects said reference the “succession of delicate and bold forms that characterised the work of Yves Saint Laurent”.
In contrast, the museum’s entrance hall has smooth white walls that are designed to evoke the velvety lining of a couture jacket. The monochromatic stained glass windows that circle the curved lobby wall are inspired by traditional Moroccan-style stained glass.
The exhibition is set around themes that were central to Saint Lauren’s work: Masculine-Feminine; Black, Africa and Morocco; Imaginary Voyages; Gardens; and Art. Key pieces include the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, “le smoking” and the safari jacket.
The designer team also includes French designer Philippe Apeloig, who in 2010 had designed the poster for the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Petit Palais in Paris, for the visual identity, and the interior designer Yves Taralon which features pale-coloured wood, plaster light fixtures, white marble and wicker furniture with canary yellow upholstery.
Photography by Nicolas Mathéus