Yves Saint Laurent Musée
Dedicated in reverence to the work of the legendary French designer, Yves Saint Laurent, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech launched in Fall 2017. Housing a significant portion from the Pierre Bergé foundation of the collection of the designer, the museum has 5,000 clothing items. Additionally, the museum in Marrakech comprises 15,000 accessories that shout ”haute couture” and thousands of sketches of the designer, plus miscellaneous objects.
Structure and Design
Designed by the French architectural company Studio KO, founders Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier desired a modern structure with some semblance of nature. Located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, near the renowned Jardin Majorelle, the recent structure spans an area of over 4,000 square meters. More than merely a museum, it showcases the designer’s work in an original scenography compiled by Christophe Martin. Additionally, a bookshop, a café, a 130-seater auditorium and a 150 square meter exhibit space. Besides this, there is an impressive research library that constitutes around 5,000 books.
Visitors widely acknowledge that the museum in Marrakech is a true legacy of a most celebrated French designer, but the library is the pièce de résistance of the place. The collection here includes various books and documents on Andalusian and Arabic history, geography, literature and poetry. In addition, there are numerous books on botany, Berber culture and the designer’s life and fashion.
From the designer’s archives in Paris, the architects of the museum uncovered patterns in drawings of the designer. They found that the designer had experimented with the duality of curves and straight forms. The clean cuts were a striking feature. Based on these ideas from Saint Laurent himself, the architects went about building a structure composed of cubic forms with bricks to emulate threads of fabric. The interior is vastly different, resembling the silk or velvet lining of a dinner jacket – smooth and luminous.
Yves Saint Laurent was a master of style, and often wore it on himself, unlike his counterparts. The museum dedicated to him had to look like an edifice etched in a visitor’s memory. Built of concrete, terracotta and earthen terrazzo with stone fragments from Morocco, the structure blends well with its natural environment. Complete with a temperature and humidity control system, the museum is well-prepared to house the priceless items that need the greatest of care. The perfect archival system of maintenance is installed so that everything from a couture dress to a letter is preserved in pristine condition. Apart from these technical aspects, the grounds are filled with palms and a tropical paradise awaits as you walk into one of the best museums in the world.