Golf has grown in popularity in the Middle East and North Africa, from Algeria to Qatar. But one country in the region has a major beginning: Morocco.
The game has been here ever since the British exported it in the early years of the 20th century. But from 1961 to 1999 it gained momentum in midcentury thanks to King Hassan II – the ruler – who was a golf enthusiast and saw the game as a tool for his country to enter a market-based economy.
King created several courses designed by some of the world’s top designers, and in 1971 created a golf tournament called Trophy Hassan II, a permanent part of the European Tour.
The country now has more than 40 higher courses, and both their numbers and popularity are growing rapidly. It doesn’t hurt that golf is at the center of Morocco’s latest tourism push, and Prince Moulay Rachid, son of Hassan II and younger brother of King Mohammed VI, is a fond golfer. Or that the weather is pleasant over 300 days in a year.
Along or near the country’s courses – which can be found near its coast, mountains or popular cities – are some of the most beautiful homes in the region. Unlike many new residences in places such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt, which often exhibit Western styles and aspirations, these houses, whether traditional or modern, call upon the motifs and attitudes of classic Moroccans.
Inspired by their older counterparts inside the city centers, they often take on strong earth-toned walls and subtle abstract forms and are filled with vivid colors, elaborate jewelery and hand-crafted wood, ceramic, metal and textiles. They are often softened with succulent planting, fountains, screens, shaded courtyards and moist courtyard courtyards. And his designs are often a hybrid of Islamic, Berber, Moorish and French styles.
“When people come to Morocco, they realize that they are in Morocco,” said Maud Fazus, director of the Marrakesh office of international real estate company Emil Garcin, who owns about 200 residential properties for sale or rent in the country. Gives convenience. , Most of them are near Marrakesh and it has more than 20 golf courses. (Properties near the courses typically range between $ 1.2 million to $ 3.6 million for sale and $ 950 and $ 1,400 per night for rent.) Originally from France, Ms. Faizus went to Morocco on vacation in February 2000 Were and never left, a subject that is quite common. Expands into the country.
The secret to receiving this mailing of modern and classic, she explains, is the country’s extraordinary tradition of crafts. Almost anything you ever want can be custom-made by an almost unlimited cadre of local artisans, ranging from brick-kilns to wood-working weavers.
“This is their way of working,” Ms. Fajas said. “It’s the only way they know how to do it.” Often artisans learn from their parents, who learn from themselves, have special skills and have a desire to make anything.
During a virtual (virtual) tour of one of his company’s houses, designed by famed Moroccan architect Eli Moyle, next to the Pamgolf Marrakech Palmeri golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, he hand-poured the barrel barrel roof, handset Pointed brick walls. Handmade floor tiles, handmade glass and metal chandeliers, and hand-set bamboo ceilings by the pool.
Ms. Fajas is located next to a pair of contemporary-style homes Al Maden Golf Resort, Which opened in 2008, just south of the winding streets of Marrakesh. (Many of the city’s new courses are to the south of its center, in an area that is less traditional.)
These types of houses, in recent years, are more prevalent, and have become more flattered, downstairs, large-windowed and free-flowing. But outside they often emulate the burnt orange, clay-like surfaces of traditional Moroccan homes – usually a mixture of troveled concrete, lime and earth – and their fluid connections inside and out. And inside they are handmade crafts and abstract details, such as a figurative screen, bright fabrics and geometric ceramic tiles, whose abstract patterns work well for both traditional and modern settings.
“The craftsmanship you get is very distinctive,” David Schneuwly, another French transplant. Mr. Schneuwly founded Villanovo, A company that rents villas around the country, and elsewhere around the world. He said about 20 percent of his Moroccan holidays go on golf holidays. [projecting wood latticework windows] And subtle changes in color and line. “
Vincent and Sophie Rambud, owners of the Vilnovo-listed property about 10 minutes from Pamgulf Marracus Pamerai, said this level of craft allowed them to build the type of house they wanted.
Built 15 years ago, the house finished with a mix of traditional and modern forms and surfaces. It was not easy – they went through many architects and builders – but there was one constant incredible artisan, each focusing on something specific.
One expert only worked on the tempering (finely textured surfaces of plaster, lime, water, and pigment). “You have to apply it in a certain way and it has to be made from a particular lime from a certain area of Marrakesh,” Mr. Rambood said. “You can’t see the colors before it’s finished, and you’ll have to wait three weeks before it dries up.”
This type of skill and attention to detail continued in every corner of the house: plaster workers created intricate custom moldings and intricate ceilings; An old woodwork door was made for each room (their shapes previously designed by Ms. Rambud); A metalworker in Medina, Marrakesh designed bronze docarbons (designed by Ms. Rambud) for each room. The wooden furniture was designed by Ms. Rambud and local artisans and manufactured by various local talents; Colorful geometric textiles come from Morocco and other parts of Africa.
Not surprisingly, sometimes these ultra-custom creations – which are still inexpensive due to handcraft hunting in the country – can be unpredictable.
“You just have to be patient and calm,” Mr. Rambad said. “In the end you get more or less what you want, and sometimes you get something better.”
As is evident from the mixture of French and Moroccan designs that moved into the house, artisans are often open to a combination of aesthetics and even time periods.
A good example of this diverse approach is Poram Design, a Markesh-based concrete tile company started by Kaitlin and Samuel Dow-Sandes, an American couple. The couple employs 65 people in their studios, most of them local artisans who make brass molds and duet riffs on ancient zoolary mosaics, fill them with colored concrete, press them by hand, and hold them for about two weeks. Let’s do it right.
Mr. Dowe-Sands described how the prevalence of hand artifacts permeates every aspect of life. “If you want a wicker laundry basket for your home, you will go to the man who makes it, measure it outside and after four days you will get it,” he said. “We renovated a house, and did not use a single power tool. There is still a lot. You realize that you can still accomplish a lot of things without Home Depot. “
Outside of traditional crafts and worldly liberalism, another major influence on these homes is the same thing that helps golf courses thrive: the sun-drenched North African climate, protecting homes from outdoor gathering spots, strategic shading and cool nights Gives shape to.
The Rambouts worked with a team of gardeners to create Mediterranean gardens with palm, olive and orange trees of varying sizes and groups. They made plenty of outdoor time (“we live inside and outside,” Mr. Rambud said), creating patties and semi-enclosed outdoor rooms, and they installed a chimney in almost every room
Audrey LeBonidier, a French-born landscape architect based in Casablanca, still marvels at an unforgiving ecosystem in which almost anything will grow with just a little bit of water. She works with homeowners who want a Mediterranean landscape similar to Rambods, but also creates landscapes of homes in tropical, Asian, European and other styles.
Golf course homes in Marrakesh have the added benefit of seeing not only the courses, but the area’s lakes and mountains beyond, said Mehdi Amar, deputy director of Barnes International Realty’s Marrakesh office. He said that the golf-adjacent properties were one of the biggest growth areas of his office before he went on an international trip due to the epidemic. But the business, he said, is slowly climbing back.
While homes almost always open to the elements, often there are still some surprises inside. Like many Moroccans, the Rambods’ house has its own hamam (a formal bath and steam room), in this case a vaulted space with natural light peeping from above.
From home to open one on the go, from light-lit rooms to dark open pathways and diverse viewpoints. It is almost like walking through the medina, the city wall, the ancient part, which is not far away. Like Morocco itself, sometimes it feels familiar, and other times it feels completely foreign.
“We love Morocco and Marrakesh; People’s life, we have the weather, the view, ”said Mr. Rambad. “We feel like absolutely anywhere else at home and at the same time.”