Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, the duo behind the french firm Studio KO, have offices in Paris, Marrakech and London and projects all over the globe. This time around, the french architects design Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco. It’s true: Studio KO brings their instinct for balance and sophistication to the ruggedly beautiful landscape of the African country.
Studio KO has revealed the first designs for the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco, a new complex entirely dedicated to the legendary French designer and his work. Situated in Marrakesh, the establishment will house part of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Paris collection.
The team had worked privately for Pierre Bergé (co-founder of YSL fashion house and President of the Fondation PB-YSL) in Tangier in the past – an event which led to this commission. ‘It came that, as young architects in Paris, we had an opportunity to get in touch with great clients there in Morocco, where expectations were huge and competitors few,’ they say. ‘It all started with the Hermès, the Agnellis, then Pierre Bergé.’
The new museum will span 4,000 sq m and play host to an impressive 5,000 items of clothing; 15,000 accessories; thousands of sketches; and other assorted objects.
A permanent exhibition area will be complemented by a temporary exhibition space, a 130-seat auditorium, a bookshop, a cafe-restaurant with a terrace and a research library, touching upon themes of literature, botany, Berber culture, poetry, history and, of course, Saint Laurent’s oeuvre.
The architects take inspiration from the North African country for their designs. The new building is a sophisticated, tactile project in terracotta (bricks from a local supplier make up the external skin), concrete, terrazzo and Moroccan stone.
There were also sartorial influences. The 2017 launch of the new building is scheduled to coincide with a new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris, in the renovated headquarters of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent.