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American Channel CBS Highlights Moroccan Architectural Influence on Design



Architects and designs from around the world are drawn to the intricate architecture and rich history of Morocco.

Rabat – In a recent episode of “CBS Sunday Morning,” the American news channel CBS showcased the profound impact of Morocco’s ancestral architecture on the world of design.

Correspondent Seth Doane delved into the intricate beauty of traditional Moroccan riads, situated in the ancient city of Marrakech, and how they continue to shape the realm of design.

Highlighting Marrakech’s “historic influence” across the Mediterranean, Doane said that “today, Morocco’s red city is making a new sort of impact on the design world with traditional structures called riads at the heart of it.”

Doane spoke to several architects in Morocco, including Dutch designer Willem Smit, Moroccan architect Abdellatif Ait Ben Abdallah, and American couple Caitlin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes, to uncover the essence of Moroccan design. 

What emerged from these conversations was a profound appreciation for the beauty and authenticity inherent in Moroccan design.

Alongside Ait Ben Abdallah, CBS visited a riad that dates to the 16th century. “Look at the elegance of the architecture here,” said the Moroccan architect who has restored dozens of old riads and homes across Marrakech.

“It’s the magic of noble materials, earth, terracotta, brick, and wood. It’s open but you cannot hear what’s going on in the medina … It’s one of the wonders of riad designs,” he explained.

Some of the city’s most well-known riads have been transformed into boutique hotels, including El Fen riad, the reason why Smit came to Morocco and was inspired to create his own hotels in the country.

The American channel visited one of the riads Smit has designed. “In this private home, we saw echoes of El Fen, patterns and colors that pop … with indoor-outdoor living, tiles in the central courtyard create an all-weather carpet of color,” said the correspondent.

All tiles in the Smit’s riad come from Popham Design, a company owned by American couple Dow-Sandes who moved from Los Angeles to Morocco 17 years ago to pursue their design venture.

Caitlin Dowe-Sandes articulated the unique allure of Moroccan design, saying, “It’s beautiful for one and when you touch something that’s made by somebody like that you feel the history.”

Source : Morocco World News

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