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Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech by Studio KO, with a foreword by Madison Cox. Published by Phaidon

Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech
Text: Catherine Sabbah, foreword by Madison Cox
250mm x 176mm

Phaidon presents Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech, the remarkable story of the landmark museum in Marrakech dedicated to the legendary French fashion designer’s creative work. The book chronicles the unique collaboration between Saint Laurent’s partner, Pierre Bergé, and architecture firm Studio KO, taking readers behind the scenes on a creative journey at the intersection of architecture, design, and fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) – the last of the grand couturiers – famously found inspiration and refuge in Marrakech, Morocco’s “pink city,” where he and Bergé owned a six-acre compound including a residence, Villa Oasis, and accompanying Majorelle Garden. “Marrakech taught me colour,” 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 in what would become Bergé’s final creative project before his passing in 2017, one month prior to the museum’s opening.

image © Dan Glasser

Phaidon’s Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech chronicles the 1,423 days during which the museum was designed, built, and opened in 2017. The book begins with Bergé commissioning the renowned Paris and Marrakech-based architectural and interior design practice, Studio KO. Over the subsequent four years, they worked hand in hand to create one of the most beautiful modern museums in the world. 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 honour.

Today, the museum occupies a 4,000 square meter building on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, including both permanent and temporary exhibition halls, a research library, plus an auditorium, bookshop, and terrace café.

Founded in 2000, Studio KO is known for a contemporary aesthetic infused with their unique architectural lines, which combine tradition and modernity. Their work is contextual, site-specific, using local materials, techniques and craft makers. The book describes the details of their creative process, such as selecting the right brick, the colours for the stained glass and perfecting the acoustics. Fournier writes, ‘the building we had in mind was grounded: humble yet proud.’ Architecture lovers and fans of YSL will delight in details such as the planning of the museum’s logo, by Philippe Apeloig, which was inspired by local mosaic tilework.

Thoughtfully designed, the book features black-and-white as well as colour illustrations, including architectural sketches, plans, photographs of Pierre Bergé, and images of YSL’s couture creations, presented together for the first time.

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 commis- sioned the Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech. Responsible for the Jardin Majorelle, Cox’s landscaping design for the nearby museum integrated the graphic nature of the museum’s brick facades, and introduced plants that captured the building’s architectural style. The book also features insights from fashion icons and members of Saint Laurent’s inner circle, including Betty Catroux and Catherine Deneuve.

An homage to creative collaboration and a tribute to the legacies of both Saint Laurent and Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech is the first and only book to offer an inside view of the unprecedented partnership between an extraordinary client and his talented architects.

‘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.’
– Madison Cox


Based in Paris and Marrakech and founded in 2000 by Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, Studio KO is one of the most interesting upcoming architecture and interior design practices working today. Renowned for their minimalist aesthetic and attention to craftmanship and local skills, the duo creates contemporary public and residential architecture all over the world.



Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. They work with the world’s most influential artists, chefs, writers, and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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