YSL in Marrakech by studio ko

Studio KO has unveiled plans for a new museum dedicated to the life and work of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent to open in 2017 in Marrakech, the “red city” he considered his second home.


The French architecture firm is headed Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier, the team behind the the the Chiltern Firehouse in London and the Balmain boutique in New York. “The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech succinctly mixes two universes which we know well, and which we both hold particularly dear: Morocco and fashion,” say the pair.


The architects drew inspiration from the surrounding North African landscape for their design. The exterior surface is of local terracotta brick, with concrete, terrazzo and Moroccan stone fragment elements. They also looked to the inspiration of the designer himself.




“We designed the building like one would cut fabric for a dress, by composing curves and lines, in the fashion of the working drawings, white traced on black paper, that we discovered in the designer’s workshop and archives. Its façades would be wrapped it in a brick trim, like a drape, a throw, a cape.’

The new museum is aptly located on the Rue Yves Saint Laurent near the famous Jardin Majorelle, the royal blue haven where Saint Laurent lived with his companion and business partner Pierre Bergé and where his ashes were scattered. Majorelle is already home to a vast Berber art collection as well as the renowned exotic gardens. The YSL Museum will display the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent collection of the designer’s clothing, accessoires, sketches and objects.




“Yves Saint Laurent and I discovered Marrakech in 1966, and we never left. This city deeply influenced Saint Laurent’s life and work, particularly his discovery of colour,” says Bergé.

The 4000sq.m. (43,000sq.ft) museum will feature a 130-seat auditorium as well as a restaurant and a 5,000-book research library focusing upon literature, botany, Berber culture, poetry, and history, as well as Saint Laurent’s oeuvre.


The structure is expected to reach completion in autumn 2017, to coincide with the opening of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.