Moroccan Riad

Old Moroccan riad that has been converted into a guesthouse
Old Moroccan riad that has been converted into a guesthouse

“A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Riads were the stately city homes of the wealthiest citizens such as merchants and courtiers.

The riads were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed with a centrally placed interior garden or courtyard, and the lack of large windows on the exterior walls of clay or mud brick. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and often a fountain.

Recently there has been a surge in interest in this form of house with a wave of renovation in towns such as Marrakech and Essaouira, where many of these often-crumbling buildings have been restored to their former glory as hotels or restaurants.”

Image source: TripAdvisor Riad Atlas Guest House
I saw one of these in a video recently and immediately fell in love with the quiet, protected, cozy feel in the courtyard. The courtyards are typically open to the sky. This particular riad was an old house that had been renovated and converted into a guesthouse. It was super beautiful.

3 thoughts on “Moroccan Riad”

  1. Something worth mentioning, given this blog’s emphasis – many old Riads in Fez and Marrakech were originally built out of Tabiyah, e.g. Rammed Earth. However as they are being renovated and made into popular guest-houses many of the older rammed earth building envelopes are being demolished and replaced with masonry tile/brick and concrete.

    There remains a tremendous amount of old rammed earth mixed with lime+stone masonry architecture in these and other cities of Morocco, though the additions and renovations are frequently done in newer materials.
    The older Riads, and some of teh rennovated ones, are often great examples, in their original form, of natural earth-based vernacular architecture.


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