Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech


Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech

23 Apr , 2012   Gallery

Hidden behind an unre­mark­able wooden door in the heart of Marrakech’s Medina lies the extraordin­ary house of Italian design duo Fabrizio Bizarri and Alessandra Lippini. Mention their names among the grow­ing num­ber of for­eign­ers who are mak­ing Marrakech their home, and they will inev­it­ably be greeted with nods of recog­ni­tion and smiles of friend­ship. For the Europeans who have settled in Marrakech are a close-knit bunch, united by shared appre­ci­ation of the Moroccan way of life. In their ten years in Morocco, the two design­ers have become reg­u­lar fix­tures of the Medina. But, if the loc­als have grown accus­tomed to Fabrizio and Alessandra, you can­not help but won­der what they would make of their cre­ation; the Ministero del Gusto.

Stairs to 1st floor landing, Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech -

Hidden in the exuber­ant bustle, the Ministero del Gusto is to be found in a small alley hid­den behind a near invis­ible open­ing by one of the main arter­ies of the Medina. But, as soon as you step inside, there is no mis­tak­ing that this is some­thing alto­gether dif­fer­ent. The Ministero is not so much a home as a show­case for their design tal­ents, it is an indic­a­tion to poten­tial cli­ents of just what a unique space Fabrizio and Alessandra could cre­ate for them.

The rooftop, Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech -

The first thing that strikes you is the incred­ible open court­yard in the centre of the build­ing, where the sun shines down through the small open­ing in the roof, to cast the most won­der­ful and chan­ging light upon the water beneath and the rough tex­tured orange walls. Long wooden poles sus­pen­ded over the clear blue water serve as a focal point, a centre of atten­tion in this fant­astic space. But, like any truly suc­cess­ful design, the real won­der of the Ministero is not solely visual. It is in its abil­ity to cap­tiv­ate all of your senses and to affect your state of mind. The space is cool and calm­ing, an escape from the Moroccan sun, but the infu­sion of light from above and the rich orange walls lift the spir­its and remind you of just what a magical place is to be found bey­ond the front door.

Bathroom, Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech -

Simultaneously a haven away from the fren­etic hustle of the Medina and a con­nec­tion to it, it echoes the rich col­ours and var­ied tex­tures to cre­ate a space that is tact­ile alters its mood with the move­ments of the sun. One of the most cap­tiv­at­ing fea­tures of life in Marrakech is the way in which every sight, sound and even smell seems to indic­ate the time of day. The sound of the Adhan from the many mosques all serve as an indic­a­tion of exactly what is hap­pen­ing out­side in the city.

The bath, Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech -

Upstairs, the views down onto the small pool are just as breath­tak­ing but here other fea­tures of the space also com­pete for your atten­tion. The fire­place is cer­tainly unique and when the fire below is lit the whole top floor can be wreathed in smoke. The real treat, other than Alessandro’s envi­able col­lec­tion of vin­tage fash­ion, has to be the bath­room. The deep leather bath is filled from above by a tree trunk and con­jures up images of stand­ing beneath a water­fall in the open.

The kitchen, Ministero del Gusto, Marrakech -

Showering in the open is also an option on the rooftop with its won­der­ful views across the neigh­bour­ing rooftops. The roof of the Ministero del Gusto is a large sun drenched space where the vibrant orange has been bleached to per­fec­tion; ideal for loun­ging, enjoy­ing the weather and enga­ging in a bit of neigh­bour watch­ing.

Ministero del Gusto, 22 derb Azzouz, el Mouassine, Marrakech, Maroc.

Photos ©Ken Sparkes Words: Carla Bower. All rights reserved. First published in Spaces magazine, issue 07.

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