Tradition and landscape shape gardens of Fairmont Taghazout Bay

Taghazout Bay
View across gardens at Fairmont Taghazout Bay. All CGIs courtesy of HKS Architects

Scape Design, working with the London office of lead architect HKS, has unveiled plans for the landscape masterplan for a new luxury resort at a popular surfing destination in Morocco, due to be completed in 2019.

Fairmont Taghazout Bay, part of the new 615ha Taghazout Bay tourism and cultural complex on the Atlantic coast 18km north of Agadir, will include a five-star hotel, private beachfront vilas, and several pools.

The landscape design responds to the culture, geology and natural features of the region and the traditions of the semi-nomadic Berber people.

Lush gardens are filled with almond and olive groves, manicured plateaus, leisure pools and play areas. A tranquil spa garden, modelled on a Berber village, includes several private enclosed spaces filled with rosemary and bougainvillea. Dry channels edged with succulents and grasses lead visitors through the site, echoing the natural ravines and wadis (dry, seasonal river beds) of the nearby Atlas Mountains.

The influence of ancient Moroccan garden tradition can be seen in the sequences of spaces and gardens that conceal then reveal views with blind facades and internal courtyards, low walls and Berber screens. Throughout, native and introduced species have been selected for their tolerance of arid conditions, and used to frame views and add colour and fragrance.

‘From a tourism perspective, Morocco has traditionally been defined by the walled riads and street markets of Marrakesh and Casablanca,’ said Scape Design founder Phil Jaffa. ‘However, this project required Scape to create a new image of Morocco centred on the dramatic, yet more relaxed, nature of the coastal landscape of Taghazout Bay.

‘Drawing upon the region’s Berber culture and blending it with the local geography and geology, we have envisioned a contemporary resort that seeks to lead each guest on a journey of unfolding drama and romantic elegance through a design that directly springs from the story of an undiscovered Morocco and its coastal heritage.’

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