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Revisiting an Old Project - The Four Seasons Marrakech

Posted by Lighting Design International on 3 Dec 2014

During a recent visit to Marrakech, I decided to take a look at the Four Seasons Hotel, a little taste of five star luxury which Lighting Design International worked on over a period of around six years with the project completing late 2011. It was a project I have heard a great deal about and seen some very iconic images which I have used in many a project presentation. What a treat to see it in the flesh!

The approach up to the main entrance in itself is an experience; the long winding palm tree lined driveway with the trees neatly uplit from hidden in-ground uplights, framing the driveway, building up the suspense to what we might see of the luxury Moroccan Hotel and Spa resort ahead.

The adjoining walkways from the entrance and reception lobby are lit by clusters of floor standing lanterns with accents by the low glare recessed uplights to the pillars of the archways and door architraves. These, along with the Moroccan hanging lanterns, send shadows onto the ceiling, and draw you through and into the heart of the hotel. This low ambient lighting creates a calm and composed welcoming setting. When inside, this works not only to invite and draw visitors in, but also encourages them to sit and relax.

Here innocuous low level lighting techniques are used to promote a comfortable yet cosy atmosphere along with soft furnishings and draped fabrics framing the windows. This is created by the combination of low level pendants hung over coffee tables, concealed linear LED strip highlighting decorateive objects on display on the shelves and low glare directional downlights focused on the artwork.

Having found the bar, we decided to take our frozen margaritas and sit outside on the terrace overlooking the main exterior courtyard.

Wall mounted uplights to the facade reflect light off the awnings above framing the tall windows. Impact is created with a combination of different layers of light; wall mounted uplights, floor standing lanterns set around tables, custom-made integrated lanterns within the balcony balustrades sending shadows out from behind plotted plants and small candle lanterns placed on tables. Here it's more about playing with the light and making a features of the shadows, subtly layering up the elements.

But the highlight for me was as we stepped out from the bar, the view from the balcony overlooking the palm tree lined pool created quite a dramatic scene.

The left image was as we photographed it five years ago, the one on the right as it is now. How wonderful to see that the scheme has stood the test of time. Foliage has grown, but the uplights to the palms still look amazing. Our original scheme was a gentle warm wash of light to the end building but since red filters have been added; the bright red contrast playing against the green of the palm leaves making even more of a statement.