Yves Saint Laurent opens new museum in Marrakech
In October 2017, two museums will open dedicated to the work of Yves Saint Laurent. The first will be housed in the historical couture house at 5 avenue Marceau, a hôtel particulier from the Second Empire where the French designer worked for almost 30 years and which is now being revisited by stage designer Nathalie Crinière and interior designer Jacques Grange.
The other museum is being erected in another city close to Saint Laurent’s heart - Marrakech. The designer and his lifetime partner, Pierre Bergé, discovered the Moroccan city in 1966, and on the flight back from their first trip there, they already had the paperwork for a house they wanted to buy. They went back regularly, and it was in Marrakech that Saint Laurent imagined his collections. Having moved to a new house very close to Jardin Majorelle, a garden of exotic plants and rare species created in the 1930s by French Orientalist painter Jacques Majorelle, Saint Laurent and Bergé pounced when they heard that the now-public treasure would soon be demolished. To save it, they decided to buy it. Over the years, the garden flourished under their watch, and they developed a museum to the Berber culture on the site. The complex already receives almost 700,000 visitors a year. The new museum, on the aptly named Rue Yves Saint Laurent, is not within the garden but quite close, on the same block, and was financed using the entrance fees of the garden.
Designed by the French architecture firm Studio KO, founded by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier, it is built of terra cotta, concrete, and an earthencoloured terrazzo with pieces of Moroccan stone, perfectly fitting in with the surroundings. “Their clean, uncluttered style recalls Saint Laurent’s work,” Bergé said of Studio KO. Spanning more than 13,000sq ft, the museum will feature a temporary exhibition space, an auditorium, a bookshop, a café-restaurant with a terrace, and a research library.
Yves Saint Laurent in his Paris studio, 1986
The Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech