Owner: Christian Schallert/Brummell Projects
Architecture and Interior design: Bergendy Cooke, Amine Abouraoui
Furnishings: custom made; Olivari
Lighting: Vesoi, Ingo Maurer
Bathrooms: Neve
Photo credits: Emily Andrews, Ely Sanchez, La Dichosa

Boutique Hotel Maison Brummell Majorelle stands next to the famed Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech that surround the Yves Saint Laurent museum. It was built at the behest of Austrian hotelier Christian Schallert who envisioned it as a place to welcome friends, family, and travelers from all over the world. There is only room for up to 16 guests in the newly built hotel, which took three years to build and now fits smoothly in its setting. The architect Bergendy Cooke from New Zealand and the architect Amine Abouraoui from Morocco joined forces to create a single architectural work inspired by Arab architecture as seen through contemporary eyes. The architects avoided merely replicating styles while seeking to pay homage to the country’s rich history using less traditional references to it. One of the hotel’s key purposes is to provide a place for relaxation and reflection, which required a peaceful, joyful atmosphere. 

The abundance of lush plant life and running water suggest an oasis. The alternation of solids and voids, inside and outside the hotel, fit with the Maison’s pace, to let guests unwind and enjoy facilities like a hammam with a massage room, a Turkish bath, and heated pool. It is as if the architects started with a single block and carved out and empty and filled sections at variable scales.

This work of subtraction and addition creates varied spatial experiences achieved through light and shadow. The surrounding gardens also draw on a similar language, featuring layers of plants and foliage on different levels. Its exterior and interior surfaces are clear examples of traditional construction methods and Moroccan craftsmanship.

For instance, a rammed earth technique uses a mixture of earth and quicklime, here in a Marrakesh pink version; there is tadelakt, hand-smoothed plaster that requires incredible deftness; there are bejmat handmade tiles, and gray and pink terrazzo which defines the spaces and extends to create washbasins and bathtubs. Local craftspeople were brought in to custom-make some of its furnishings, which are mixed with design pieces, such as the Vesoi hanging lamps and Ingo Maubrer lamps, Neve taps, and Lama door handles designed by Gio Ponti and made by Olivari.