A well-balanced mixture of French Art Deco and the Moroccan style, the Majorelle Garden is one of Marrakesh’s most appealing and visited places. Its iconic colors have become a signature element of the majestic gardens. One of the most complex colors to reproduce, Blue Majorelle remains an intrigue for artists and designers.
The Accent of the Majorelle Garden
When visiting Morocco, you discover that the perfect balance happens when you enter a garden after spending some time among the city’s chaotic streets. There is always something soothing about gardens. The different shades of green, the soft sounds, the vibrant leaves, and the humid soil’s scent.
The Jardin Majorelle is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. It gathers all the wonders of nature and surprisingly transforms into a unique space full of vibrant colors. Moorish buildings in Art Deco style in bold colors. Striking yellows, smoky reds, and the famous Blue Majorelle are surrounded by exotic gardens and fountains.
Located at Rue Yves Saint Laurent, the Majorelle Garden is one of Marrakesh’s most appealing and visited places. In the 2.5 acres of garden area, you’ll find various plants imported from all continents, including not only cacti, palms, and bamboo, but also potted flowers, and aquatic plants.
For many years, I have found in the Jardin Majorelle an inexhaustible source of inspiration and I have often dreamed of its unique colors.”Yves Saint Laurent
Creating the Garden
The garden was created by French artist and painter Jacques Majorelle in 1923 and took 40 years to complete. Majorelle had traveled all over the country and settled permanently in Marrakesh. He bought a 4-acre land and designed it influenced by the Moroccan scene. He created a tropical botanical garden modeled on Islamic-style gardens. In 1931 Paul Sinoir was hired to build an artist’s villa studio. Majorelle was inspired by the cobalt blue he saw around, the Moroccan blue tiles, and the Berbers’ turbans. Then, he created the now-famous Blue Majorelle, which he used extensively in his villa and garden. Over time, he acquired more lots, growing the area more and more. Because of the costly expenses in the garden, in 1947, Majorelle opened it to the public with an admission charge, and at times, sold off land pieces too.
After Majorelle’s sudden death and subsequent damage to the garden, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge bought it. Completely in love with the place, they restored it to almost its original condition. They also opened a Museum of Islamic Art and a gallery displaying Majorelle’s works of art. And later, in 2011, the Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation opened the Berber Museum in Majorelle’s workshop.
Architecture in Blue
From an architectural point of view, the building is fascinating. It’s a well-balanced mixture of French Art Deco, which can be identified in the series of entrances, perspectives, geometrically shaped buildings, and the Moroccan style, which expresses its beauty in the wooden gate, lattices, and geometric tile work all over the garden.
At the center stands the canal and the main two-storied building, which used to be Jacques Majorelle’s residence. Multiple structures, pavilions, pools, and ponds are located organically all around the garden, all discoverable by following footpaths immersed in the greenery.
The Blue Majorelle plays the protagonist role in the architecture. It’s used on almost all the exteriors creating contrasts with the pale turquoise stucco of the columns, the yellow of the window frames, the green of plants, and the reds of the pavements. Interestingly, this color has remained an intrigue, not easily reproduced, and a curious souvenir you can find at the Boutique within the garden.
Rue Yves Saint Laurent
40 090 Marrakesh, Morocco
A version of this article appears in print, in Issue 0 of Álula Magazine with the headline: “Blue Majorelle, The Accent of the Majorelle Garden.”