GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities

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By Charlotte Benz
Though the Moroccan harbor town of M’diq is no stranger to luxury, architect Galal Mahmoud’s recent project in Tamuda Bay is taking things to a whole new level.

GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities - Photo 1 of 6 - Open-corridor passageways, balconies, and overpasses designed by GM Architects, create a smooth integration between indoor and outdoor spaces at the Sofitel Tamuda Bay.  

Open-corridor passageways, balconies, and overpasses designed by GM Architects, create a smooth integration between indoor and outdoor spaces at the Sofitel Tamuda Bay.  

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."

GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities - Photo 2 of 6 - The standard chamber suites at the Sofitel Tamuda Bay are punctuated with stunning views of sky and sea out their balcony windows. 

The standard chamber suites at the Sofitel Tamuda Bay are punctuated with stunning views of sky and sea out their balcony windows. 

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. 

GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities - Photo 3 of 6 - GM Architects’ linear construction and high ceilings are balanced by softer interior hues, abstract prints, and spherical pendant lamps that bring warmth and a sense of intimacy to the Opera Suite. 

GM Architects’ linear construction and high ceilings are balanced by softer interior hues, abstract prints, and spherical pendant lamps that bring warmth and a sense of intimacy to the Opera Suite. 

GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities - Photo 4 of 6 - The Spa Suite provides a spacious, bright, and relaxing interior environment that opens up to a secluded patio from which to enjoy a private view of the stunning&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.8;">Mediterranean&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.8;">coastline.</span>

The Spa Suite provides a spacious, bright, and relaxing interior environment that opens up to a secluded patio from which to enjoy a private view of the stunning Mediterranean coastline.

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. 

GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities - Photo 5 of 6 - The Sofitel restaurant, Le Marche Des Saveurs, prepares a fusion of&nbsp;Moroccan, French, Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, offering something for everyone. &nbsp;

The Sofitel restaurant, Le Marche Des Saveurs, prepares a fusion of Moroccan, French, Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, offering something for everyone.  

GM Architects' Latest Project: Harmonizing Two Distinct Mediterranean Identities - Photo 6 of 6 - The hotel's private terraces are the perfect spot to enjoy a warm night in on the coast.

The hotel's private terraces are the perfect spot to enjoy a warm night in on the coast.

To see more projects by GM Architects, visit them online.