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Vantage Point: August Furniture + Architecture Pairing

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The commission for a new museum to showcase the work of Yves Saint Laurent came from his partner in life and business Pierre Bergé. The design brief was for a museum at the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech that was “strong, Moroccan, contemporary, and, above all, absolutely uncompromising”.

The power duo Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty, also partners in business and life, and their Studio KO took on the project. Their practice, known for their minimalist villas, boutiques and hotels, has studios in Paris, London and Marrakech from which they take on commissions from around the world.

Their commitment to a narrative process rather than a trademark style means that each project is guided by its context. For the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, they were inspired by the play between curved and straight lines in Saint Laurent’s drawings. These shapes take form with the use of deft brickwork that weaves its way around the building. The floorplate of the building takes the shape of a pattern piece, as seen here in this incredible carved marble maquette.

“We tried to pay tribute to his relationship to craftsmanship and textures, as well as to his love story with Morocco. So, we wrote a text about a sort of textile of clay that would wrap around an immaculate space, and then translated those sentences into sketches and forms.”


For our pairing we selected Anna Karlin’s Chess Dining Stools and Layered Table. The mix of machined precision and the softness of the hand rubbed patina have a kinship with the building’s brickwork.

London born Anna Karlin moved to New York after university and immediately embraced her Chinatown neighborhood, where she opened her studio. Karlin is a multidisciplinary designer creating work that spans the spectrum from furniture and interiors to jewelry and graphic design. In addition to her Furniture + Fine Objects, Fine Jewelry, and residential interiors, her design practice takes on temporary installations as well as commercial projects such as a design lab and retail space for Lululemon, and a lounge space for Adidas.

“I just don’t understand not wanting to do it all. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is – a website, a chair, a pot – it’s all the same process. It’s also what keeps me interested and excited.”


Photos courtesy of Nicolas Mathéus

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