phaidon book chronicles the making of studio KO’s yves saint laurent museum in marrakech

homage to pierre bergé’s collaboration with studio KO


phaidon presents ‘yves saint laurent museum marrakech’, a new book that tells the story behind the landmark museum in marrakech dedicated to the legendary french fashion designer’s creative work (see previous coverage here). the book highlights the unique collaboration between saint laurent’s partner, pierre bergé, and studio KO, the renowned paris and marrakech-based architecture firm responsible for the museum’s design. taking readers behind the scenes and on a creative journey at the intersection of architecture, design, and fashion, ‘yves saint laurent museum marrakech’ chronicles the 1,423 days during which the museum was designed, built, and opened in 2017.


the book contains a heartfelt foreword by madison cox, garden designer and spouse of bergé. cox is president of the fondation pierre bergé – yves saint laurent and president of the fondation jardin majorelle, which commissioned the yves saint laurent museum marrakech. ‘a warm tribute to morocco…this elegant book traces the incredible artistic process that enabled a rough, candid sketch to metamorphose like a chrysalis into a bountiful and beautiful building,’ cox writes. the book also features insights from fashion icons and members of saint laurent’s inner circle, including betty catroux and catherine deneuve.phaidon book chronicles the making of studio KO's yves saint laurent museum in marrakech

all images courtesy of phaidon





yves saint laurent – the last of the grand couturiers – famously found inspiration and refuge in marrakech, morocco’s ‘pink city,’ where he and pierre bergé owned a six-acre compound including a residence, villa oasis, and accompanying majorelle garden. ‘marrakech taught me color,’ saint laurent once said. ‘before marrakech, everything was black.’ saint laurent’s deep love of the city led bergé to embark on the creation of the yves saint laurent museum marrakech. the project marked bergé’s final creative endeavour before his passing in 2017, one month prior to the museum’s opening.


conceived as a candid diary, phaidon’s ‘yves saint laurent museum marrakech’ traces the entire creative process behind the project, from its conception to its opening. the book begins with bergé commissioning studio KO, with whom he worked hand in hand over the subsequent four years to develop a contemporary landmark destination for architecture and fashion fans worldwide. bergé, to whom the book is dedicated, was involved in every step — from the building’s location, steps from the jardin majorelle, to the chairs placed in the auditorium, which were later named in his honor.

phaidon book chronicles the making of studio KO's yves saint laurent museum in marrakech
main east facade and entrance on rue yves saint laurent. image © dan glasser (pages 244-245)



the book delves into the creative process of studio KO, whose work focuses on the use of local materials, techniques and craft makers. ‘the building we had in mind was grounded: humble yet proud,’ writes the studio’s co-founder, karl fournier. it goes into details such as selecting the right brick, the colors for the stained glass and perfecting the acoustics. thoughtfully designed, the book features black-and-white as well as color illustrations, including architectural sketches, plans, photographs of pierre bergé, and images of YSL’s couture creations, presented together for the first time.

phaidon book chronicles the making of studio KO's yves saint laurent museum in marrakech
stained-glass windows illuminated from inside, seen from the entrance courtyard at night. image : © dan glasser (pages 258-259)

phaidon book chronicles the making of studio KO's yves saint laurent museum in marrakech
museum exit, with a collection of succulents imagined by landscape designer madison cox. image: © dan glasser (pages 200-201)

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