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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Africa, Morocco

Moroccan Architectural Patterns

Moroccan Shapes, Colours, and Designs

One of the reasons I wanted to visit Morocco was because of its incredible architecture and colours. What I didn’t realize was how delicate and detailed all the work truly is. The extravagance of the country is brought to life through the deep and contrasting colors incorporated in the designs. So what types of Moroccan designs are there?

Moroccans put a lot of hardwork and time into the beauty that are their mosques, palaces, gardens, and walls. From the horseshoe arched doorways and gates to deep green and indigo blue tilework. To help better visualize some of these details and showcase the splendor, here are a list of some of the MAIN materials and styles of architecture used across Morocco.

Stucco

Intricate designs in patterns carved into plaster. They also incorporate Islamic calligraphy into the patterns. This takes hours to carve and a very delicate hand but the outcome is incredible. You find this on walls, around doorways, on gates, and on ceiling arches.

Carved Cedarwood

Beautiful motifs of flowers and leaves, Arabic words and phrases, and other designs. This is an extremely common sight as most doors are made of carved cedarwood. Also found on panels, walls, fountains and doorways.

Zellij Tilework

Colourful, individually shaped tiles arranged in geometric patterns, mostly in the shape of stars. This vibrant mosaic is found on floors and walls in both Mosques and every day houses.

Darj w Ktaf Pattern

A flower-like pattern pointing upwards usually in an emerald green shade. This pattern can be found on schools and Mosques.

Carved Copper

Copper and Bronze are cut-out in geometrical patterns which emit light as they are mainly used as lanterns and lamp shades. The Copper can be natural, painted black or any other colour. Sometimes coloured glass is inserted into the copper to provide accents.

Painted wooden ceilings

Hand-painted traditional designs in star and flower-like patterns. These are found on most ceilings in Mosques, Palaces, and in some homes. The work is detailed and the colours are complimentary.

These shapes, colours, patterns, and designs are all reasons I was inspired to visit Morocco. Being here has fed me more knowledge on understanding what these motifs are and why they are important. I adore Moroccans dedication to beauty and incorporating it into their everyday lives and homes – It gives everywhere a very unique and grand feel. The greens, blues, yellows, and browns. The horseshoe gates, the carved doorways, the tiled floors. There is SO much more to Moroccan design then these patterns, but they give you a good introduction into some of the majestic beauty that is Moroccan design.

Morocco is a jackpot for detail-oriented architectural patterns and designs.

5 Comments

  1. These are beautiful, and I love how you put the photos next to each other in pseudo-collages.

    • Thanks! I’ve collected a lot more photos as I visit new places in Marrakech. I simply love the colours and patterns of everything here.

  2. I know they can also make coloured sand pictures in glass bottles. I observed one such master at a travel show. He was there making coloured sand pictures of camels in glass bottles. I found it really fascinating.

    • That would be incredible to watch. I didn’t see anything like that in the markets either but I could of loved to.

  3. you are welcome anytime to visit Morocco
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