Yves Saint Laurent main entrance

Yves Saint Laurent, who was one of the masters of fashion, finally has his own museum in Marrakech. It is an expressive building with clear influences from the architecture and interior design of Marrakech of all times.

Yves Saint Laurent and Marrakech

Marrakech is the city where Yves Saint Laurent discovered draping, kaftans and intense colors bathed in the harsh desert light. Reasons that are more than enough to house one of the museums that bear the name of the famous couturier – the other is in Paris.

Yves Saint Laurent was, for forty years, one of the great masters of Haute Couture has become – in its own right – part of the history of the twentieth century: with his own style, YSL designed the pea coat, the trench coat, the tuxedo, the trouser suit and his iconic safari jacket.

It now has a museum in the ‘Red City’ (named for the colour of its buildings and the colours of the surroundings): a building made of locally sourced terrazzo, red brick lattices and bush-hammered concrete. A display of volumes and heights inspired by the work and designs of the couturier.

A cultural center in honor of Yves Saint Laurent

More than a museum, it is a cultural centre in which the interior design exquisitely complements the lines exposed to the inclement sun outside: an interior design impregnated by beams of light that filter through the stained-glass windows inspired by Matisse.

Like the lining of a Haute Couture jacket, the decoration of the building is radically different from the robust exterior structure: smoother and more delicate, with some spaces inspired by the bottle of Opium, one of YSL’s flagship perfumes.

Architecture and Fashion at YSL Center

The project for this centre – commissioned to Studio KO – does not skimp on details. The cylindrical brick structure that gives entrance to the museum is tall enough to create a circular wall open to the cloudless blue sky of Marrakech and hide the nearby buildings. Within this large space stands majestically the iconic YSL logo designed in 1961 by Cassandre.

If the architecture of Marrakech has been one of the inspiring elements of this great work, the use of traditional materials has also been key to the development of the project and its interior design. Proof of this is the terracotta brick façade – widely used in local constructions and designs – which creates an interesting play of shadows reminiscent of the fabric weave. Throughout the exterior, perfect curves and right angles characteristic of the famous jackets designed by YSL are combined.

The curved façade – imitating the folds of the fabric – invites you to enter a centre that is an interesting journey into the work of the great designer. A visit that no one should miss.

Laura Yerpes | Interior Design & Decoration

Photos: Dan Glasser, Studio KO and Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent cylindrical patio

View of the cylindrical courtyard of the new museum of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent


Yves Saint Laurent exhibitionYves Saint Laurent exterior museumYves Saint Laurent construction detailYves Saint Laurent façade