AW² was commissioned by the owner of a guest house located in the palm grove of Marrakech. The existing villa, both elegant and pure, was a resolutely modern design. The owner had begun to install the works from his contemporary art collection in the gardens, which brought an entirely new perception of the place and opened up new perspectives. It was clear from the start that our work would take into account the artistic and aesthetic vision of the place. It was not simply about an extension of the villa with 8 suites and hotel services. But it was more about how to complete a vision and to give a new dimension to Dar Sabra. It very quickly became obvious that our work would include working on the landscape and the perception of the place rather than creating a new destination. We introduced architecture into a landscape populated with contemporary artworks, creating a dialogue between its two hectares of lawns, olive trees and palms, the works of art, and architecture within a dynamic perception of space. The architecture reveals and receives the works, but it pushes the ambiguity between the two so far as to become a work of art itself. And by their materiality and spatial structuring, the artworks in turn become architecture.
The buildings are designed in a geometry of assembled simple shapes. They are imbricated into a complex form that play with the light and shadows that brings out the architecture. Light is everywhere: the rooms are open onto the courtyards and all have light wells that ‘catch’ the light at the back of the suites. The suites are the key component of the project, they are designed as one single composition which sits on the axis of the large pool. It creates a new perspective from the terraces of the existing house. Eight suites, with eight porticos that rise from the ground and mark the entrances of each room below. The ground has been remodelled to create the courtyards, the terraces and the accommodation, and the architecture stands like a giant sculpture with its rhythms and alignments.
Boutique hotel with 10 suites
1 500 m²
Douar Abiad, Marrakech, Maroc
Photography credit: Daniel Moulinet