moroccan architecture design maroc houses home maison d'hote guesthouse sahara marokanski dom riad dar caliph's house rooftop cafe patio loggia vouge ikea swedish

What Is A Riad?

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As found on Wikipedia,

“A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard.”

To say a little bit more about the traditional riads, they used to be the houses of the wealthy Moroccans, hundreds years ago.

So what is a riad?

A riad is a very characteristic and unique building as it doesn’t have any external windows and when you look at it from outside, it looks like a massive wall. When you enter it you will see either a fountain or a small garden in the middle of the house. Riad normally has at least two storeys and a terrace around the construction. The windows of the rooms overlook the inner garden.

The design of this kind of building allows people to relax in the shadow especially during hot summer nights. The inside of a riad is quite chilly what makes it a perfect shelter from unbearable heat.

On the other hand, sun-lovers will also be satisfied as every riad has a rooftop terrace where you can sunbathe.

moroccan architecture design maroc houses home maison d'hote guesthouse sahara marokanski dom riad dar caliph's house rooftop cafe patio loggia vouge ikea swedish
Riad Quara’s rooftop at night, Marrakesh

 

Riads can be found in the old towns of Moroccan cities such as Marrakech, Fes, Meknes, Tangier, Essaouira.

A friend of mine, one of the first English-speaking Moroccan storytellers, Mehdi el Ghaly, told me that the oldest riads can be recognized by an orange tree in the middle of the interior garden.

These days riads are sought-after by European investors who are amazed by its splendid decor and design, and turn them into luxury hotels.

Have a look at some renovated riads, held in quite a modern style, that I have visited:

moroccan architecture design maroc houses home maison d'hote guesthouse sahara marokanski dom riad dar caliph's house rooftop cafe patio loggia vouge ikea swedish
In Sherazade hotel, Marrakesh (two riads turned into a hotel)

 

moroccan architecture design maroc houses home maison d'hote guesthouse sahara marokanski dom riad dar caliph's house rooftop cafe patio loggia vouge ikea swedish
The rooftop of Riad Quara in Marrakesh

 

moroccan architecture design maroc houses home maison d'hote guesthouse sahara marokanski dom riad dar caliph's house rooftop cafe patio loggia vouge ikea swedish
Riad Suliman in Marrakesh

 

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