GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities
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GM Architects’ new resort project, Sofitel, Tamuda Bay, hasn’t even opened its doors to the public and it’s already earned the International Hotel Awards’ 2011 prize for "Best New Hotel." The award acknowledges leader Galal Mahmoud’s study of place—an almost anthropological attitude towards design. He calls this approach "contextual immersion."
In the case of the Sofitel Tamuda Bay Hotel, the use of color alone is a study of place. Mahmoud explains how, nearby "Tangier is punctuated with wonderful contrasting strokes of cobalt blue and white." Meanwhile, on the French Riviera, similar hues contextualize the Côte d'Azur. Absorbing this chromatic similarity, GM Architects used color as a vital source of interior and exterior inspiration for this new project. Interior inspiration was also taken from the organic shapes of many 20th century European abstract artists including Matisse, Miró, Mondrian, and Derain. The expressive art of these influential figures serves to soften Mahmoud’s resolute commitment to a contemporary and highly linear architectural style.
By taking the surrounding geographic, historic, and cultural contexts into account, the new Sofitel Hotel achieves a unique balance between a design ethos that is both historically and culturally referential, while simultaneously remaining committed to designing for the modern day. As a result, this project successfully and respectfully blends the opposite shores of the Mediterranean: the colorful hand-crafted authenticity of Morocco and the Sofitel ethos of French Art de Vivre.
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