Traditional Moroccan Home – Riad Marhaba

Architecture, well good architecture let’s say, be it traditional or contemporary, reflects the environment that surrounds it.
It is an interesting exercise to discover which aspects of a design are adapted to specific climate conditions.
But don’t stop there, this is not limited to weather and location, homes and buildings should also give you hints about their cultural landscape.

Riads are found somewhere between the windy and narrow alleyways of old Moroccan medinas.
They are usually two or more story’s high, with no outer windows on their lower levels, the upper levels can have some but they will be very small and high up.
For the average westerner this may sound like a horrible place, where it’s hard to dry your laundry!

While western contemporary architecture tries to bring the outside world into the house, with big windows and openness, the riad catered for a different way of living.
It was purposefully designed to keep the outside world away from the private space. The house turned in, onto itself, keeping the urban life separated.
The family is secluded and protected, and for a muslim woman this means she can unveil herself. Behind the walls of her home there is no threat to her family’s private life.

When I walked into Marhaba I felt I was entering a secret little world and it blew my mind. The high ceilings create a feeling of spaciousness, which balances the lack of windows.
The inner courtyard opens the home to the light, whilst keeping it cool and shaded at the same time.
The stucco sculptures adorning the entrances, with intricate details. The Calligraphic inscriptions, the wood carvings of the doors, the colorful tiles or zellige
Experiencing it’s symmetry and balance, was a real delight to my eyes.

Here’s a small sneak peak…

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