The Studio KO architectural duo designed a museum ideally suited to the haute couture of Yves Saint Laurent – a building as flowing and complex as the master's clothing creations. Diverse laying patterns of the bricks serve to loosen the windowless facade via structures reminiscent of the warp and weft of textiles, and that also create a complex play of shadow in the light of the southern sun.
In the so-called Black Box, the main exhibition space of the new museum, the colours, textures, embroideries, flounces and draped textile plies of the costly robes are crisply and three-dimensionally highlighted via accented lighting with Optec contour spotlights. This method of lighting that lends a sense of drama to the presentation underlines Christophe Martin's attachment to the world of theatre.
Referencing Arabian architectural traditions, the introverted museum is accessed via artistically designed interior courtyards. Visitors enter the museum from the road side via a narrow corridor into the round patio displaying a dominantly presented YSL logo on a centrally inserted wall panel. Following the onset of twilight, the logo is effectively showcased by two Beamer projectors each equipped with 12W LED modules. Two Lightscan projectors installed at eaves height, one with neutral white light (4000K) and the other with warm white (3000K), create a soft moonlight effect on the museum's circular outside wall.
The key works of the creative genius Yves Saint Laurent are effectively illuminated and opulently staged in the black exhibition space.
For Christophe Martin it was important to display the complete bandwidth of facets in Yves Saint Laurent's body of work with his exhibition design for the new museum in Marrakesh. As a consequence the museum shop for example is based on the first prêt-à-porter boutique in Paris opened in the 1960s by the fashion designer. The oxblood red walls are homogeneously illuminated with Optec wallwashers.
The interior rectangular patio with water bowl and Moroccan glazed earthenware mosaics in varying tones of green are uniformly and coolly illuminated at night by two Lightscan wallwashers with neutral white light colour.
The exhibition in the lobby of the auditorium is dedicated to another facet of Yves Saint Laurent's oeuvre: sketches and designs by the fashion creator for theatre, ballet, opera and cinema are softly and uniformly illuminated in the radiantly white space by Optec wallwashers.