Named by Architectural Digest as one of the eleven most influential buildings of 2017, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech pays homage to the designer and his equally revered business partner and companion Pierre Bergé.
The Moroccan city captured the pair’s imagination when they first visited back in 1966, so much so that they acquired a modest home there on that very trip. Years later, still captivated by the area, they purchased a much larger private residence and adjacent garden, Jardin Majorelle, now a Michelin-starred tourist attraction, which is just a stones throw away from the new museum. And the Studio KO-designed building, which opened its doors to the public in October, is now home to a collection of over 5,000 articles of clothing and 15,000 haute couture accessories, courtesy of the French couturier.
The 43,000-square-foot space also houses a temporary exhibition hall, photographic gallery, a 150-seat auditorium (which will screen everything from rarely-seen footage of the designer to arthouse films), a research library and a bookshop. It also boasts a café and an outdoor terrace serving French cuisine.
Commissioned by Pierre Berge back in 2015, via his Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, the structure features a combination of delicate and bold lines and blends seamlessly with the surrounding desert landscape. Using locally-sourced materials like terracotta, granito, and bush-hammered concrete, the overall effect mimics the folds of voluminous fabric and embroidery trim.
Inside, the building feels bright, clean and fresh, and in the central hall, the exhibit revels in contrasts, dazzling color versus black, Rive Gauche and haute couture, masculine and feminine, the physical and the ephemeral. "YSL was all about duality," said Björn Dahlström, the museum's director.
Museé Yves Saint Laurent
Rue Yves Saint Laurent