The architecture in Morocco, due to its unique location, has been influenced by many cultures throughout the years. For centuries, the country was formed by the mixture of African tribes from the other side of the Sahara Desert, Islamic traditions from Arab neighbors, and European colonizers. All of these influences have created a culture unlike any other and nowhere is this more clear than in the country’s unique architectural style.

Morocco is fast becoming a leader in sustainable development and architecture, giving priority to developing renewable energy and sustainable development by developing the largest solar power plant in North Africa. Marrakech in particular is committed to green tourism, a leading global tourist destination and Morocco’s top attraction, the city has recently hosted the COP22 climate change summit and is fast turning into a green city that encourages eco tourism. 

Months available: November and December 2019. March, April, May, October, November and December 2020. Flexible dates are available in these months for your group. Please note that the max group size is 10.

Retreat Information:

On this retreat we’ll spend 11 nights/12 days exploring the vast differences in traditional, modern and nomadic architecture in Morocco. It’s architecture is rich, alluring, and as varied as the landscape of the country itself. The indigenous Amazigh people, colonizers, as well as religious and cultural influences have shaped the architectural styles we will explore. From ornate bold colors to simple, clean lines with earth tones, the architecture is an eclectic mix of styles. We will visit the School of Architecture to see what the next generation of Moroccan architects are creating and to discuss some of the challenges they face. We’ll also visit a local firm to see the types of projects that are being designed and to see how the traditional and cultural influences determine the modern designs currently being built. 

A private medina tour will show how the Moroccan architecture was designed to beat the heat in this dry desert climate. Influences from the Arab world, Spain, Portugal and France can be seen in Moroccan architecture, both on their own and blended with traditional Amazigh or Islamic styles. Learning about the most distinctive design features and those that are more subtle will be a highlight of the retreat. The architectural elements of Moroccan design are not limited to the exterior building design or interior works of the walls and ceiling. Using the finest materials such as iron and wood, paints and natural colors of the landscape surrounding the place, a great deal of emphasis is placed on all aspects of the constructed spaces.

We’ll travel outside of Marrakech to see how traditional finish materials are made (still by hand). A lot of the building materials are still made by hand and it’s incredible to see the manufacturing process for these beautiful finishes. In addition, we’ll will visit a family owned and built Kasbah located in the mountains that has used only traditional building materials and methods. Finally, we’ll head out into the desert to explore the temporary nomadic architecture of the Sahara.

Sign your group up for the next retreat or get more information here.