The interior was exquisite, and hopefully remains so. They were to become his most constant, loyal, supportive and creative clients—mentors and friends as well—working with him for over 40 years as they transformed their own kingdom around the Jardin Majorelle. Such was the case with Bill Willis, Memphis-born and a longtime fixture of the sacred yet seamy quarter of Sidi Bel Abbes near the heart of the Marrakech medina. He breathed new life into the traditional techniques of North African craftsmen, boldly rewriting the rules of these ancient methods. The high priest of Moroccan interiors, Bill Willis was a Tennassee-born designer and architect. Sometimes the survival of ancient skills hangs by a frail thread, springing to new life through the passions of one person whose vision inspires a surge of creativity. Bill Willis was enourmously influential. Sketch was commissioned by Neon to produce a 30 minute documentary about the late American architect, Bill Willis.Bill hailed from the deep south of the US, but ended up living in Marrakech and becoming a highly influential interior architect in Morocco. Willis soon discovered Jean Gallotti and Albert Laprade’s Le Jardin et la Maison Arabes au Maroc, a magnificent book featuring Lucien Vogel’s photographs of the finest work from the ’20s and line drawings clarifying, with great precision, the techniques used—naming, for example, each tiny shape that creates the great sunburst of zellige. A Magician from Memphis Moroccan craftsmanship was on its way to extinction when an unknown decorator arrived in Marrakech in the 1960s. Bill Willis in front of the future Getty residence, Palais de la Zahia, in 1967. See more ideas about marrakech, moroccan design, moroccan interiors. Marian McEvoy wrote in her foreword to the book Bill Willis, “A man who liked to party until dawn, Bill was happy to settle down in a place where dinner started after nine o’clock and breakfast meetings and pre-dawn gym workouts did not exist.”. His life was as captivating as his art. They eventually settled on the Palais du Zahir in the quarter of Sidi Mimoun, near the city’s rosy southern ramparts, purchased from its exiled French owner for about 10 thousand dollars. The Gettys’ palace, with its four courtyards, ancient harem and great green-glazed garden court, still retained much of its 19th-century grandeur, as well as decorative traces from the ’20s and ’30s. In the following spring, his newly married friends, Talitha and J. Paul Getty Jr., arrived from Rome and swept him off to Marrakech—virgin territory for all of them. Prestige edition Author: Marian McEvoy Category: Architecture and design Foreword: Pierre Bergé Editor: Madison Cox Publisher: Éditions Jardin Majorelle Photography: Nicolas Mathéus Format: 25 cm x 33.5 cm x 3.2 cm Number of pages: 262 ISBN: 9789954302606 His legendary talent attracted clients that included the Gettys, Rothschilds, Agnellis, and Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé. This is "Bill Willis in Marrakech" by Sketch Films on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. I was astonished by his capacity for artificial fuelling. We tracked down Bill’s friends - members of the bohemian high society in Marrakech, London, Paris and New York - to share his story. Bill Willis (1937-2009) was the leading light of Moroccan-style interior design. Ideally located at the beginning of the Palmeraie of Marrakech, the property is located less than 10 minutes from the city centre while being nestled in the heart of a beautiful garden and offers unparalleled privacy to its occupants. At present, Bill Willis is sold exclusively by the shop at the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech (jardinmajorelle.com). Everywhere the rich repertory of Moorish decoration is celebrated, using a surprising palette that at times echoes the freshness and gaiety of the surrounding garden; at other times—as in the ravishing library—applies more sombre, mysterious, crepuscular tones. At first they bought Dar es Saada, a modest, neglected house next door to Majorelle’s garden where Willis helped them make a holiday retreat with rooms for guests—simple, elegant, cool and welcoming. It is available in two editions—one with … Apr 8, 2019 - “Willis’s fresh eye came along to rejoice in its contrast of grand sobriety, rainbow palette and subtle variations on ancient Islamic themes. -, COPYRIGHT 2020 ~ CATHERINE M. AUSTIN INTERIOR DESIGN ~ 3300 STANWYCK COURT ~ CHARLOTTE, NC 28211 ~ (704) 517-8622, STEP INSIDE POPPY DELAVIGNE’S LONDON HOME VIA ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, ANTHROSCENERY: AURORA ROBSON AT THE NEW GALLERY OF MODERN ART. Some of that appears to be his own fault. Bill Willis (1937-2009) was the father of Moroccan style interior design. In his own home (Dar Noujoum)—a fragment of a medina palace, its great room with a high-painted dome overlooking a desolate graveyard—his use of marble and zellige was spare. Aug 11, 2019 - Explore Tomasz Starzewski's board "BILL WILLIS MARRAKECH" on Pinterest. the PROJECT . This charming retreat is owned by Jasper Conran. Willis, who had already decorated the Gettys’ apartment in Rome, was commissioned to reawaken this sleeping beauty. The love seats blue-and-green stripe coordinates with the palette of the tiled fireplace. Jul 2, 2014 - Marrakech Riad Adventures: The Fireplaces of Bill Willis Click here to read about our amazing Moroccan adventure. His life was as interesting as his creations. The incomparable beauty of the city’s setting, with great palm groves to the north and the curtain of snow-capped High Atlas to the south, ravished the three friends as they searched for a holiday retreat. Tombé sous le charme de la ville ocre, cet architecte d’intérieur a vécu ce que l’on a appelé “les années Marrakech” entouréde la jet-set de l’époque, notamment son ami Yves Saint-Laurent. His life was as captivating as his art. This charming retreat is owned by Jasper Conran. L'Hôtel. Such was the case with Bill Willis, Memphis-born and a longtime fixture of the sacred yet seamy quarter of Sidi Bel Abbes near the heart of the Marrakech medina. 'The lanky, cranky, often pharmacologically fueled interior designer to Morocco’s fête set for nearly 40 years'. For old–school dining, head to Dar Yacout, an Orientalist-fantasy of a riad designed by Bill Willis. Born in Memphis in 1937 and after studying Fine Arts in Europe ended up traveling to Morocco in the mid-60s with the company of two newly married friends, nothing less than Talitha and Paul Getty Jr. In 1968, Willis's wedding present to friend Paul Getty Jr and his new bride Talitha was a Moroccan honeymoon. I was blown away by the interiors we saw and even more shocked to discover these places halfway around the world had been designed by a fellow Southerner. The film was made with the support of Bill's close friend, the late Pierre Berge and the … Willis was not enthusiastic about the concept of “progress.” He found it coarsening, unappealing and preferred the city as he remembered it. This site uses cookies. Aug 14, 2018 - A speculative photo-shoot by Anthony Harrison: selected images of Dar Noujoum, an old palace in Marrakech, formerly the home of American architect and designer Bill Willis, unoccupied for several years since his death but believed sold to a UK buyer in 20… Thus, learning a new design language, Willis worked his spell, knitting everything together with confidence, subtlety and gaiety. Like his father, he was interested in decoration, but his great skill and passion was gardening, and here he created a garden with noble collections of palms, bamboo and cacti. The painter Jacques Majorelle had lived in Marrakech for more than 40 years until his death in 1962. Though he had a reputation as an exacting and demanding designer, he slept until late afternoon and his neighbors thought he was a vampire. Bill Willis’ contribution to Marrakech and Moroccan style is now unnoticed and unappreciated. The Master of Marrakech: Bill Willis In the last of my month-long series of designers who’ve changed the interior design world (or at least, their particular arena in our little world), I … Time and Jack Daniels took their toll, and he left home less and less. He was responsible for almost single handedly reviving and reinterpreting high end Moroccan architecture and traditional crafts such as zellij and tadelakt that were, forty years ago, on the verge of extinction. Bill Willis Style. This is a film about the American architect Bill Willis' life and work. Tichka Marrakech attracted all these years, an upscale clientele in search of authenticity, charm and intimacy. He could be ruthless with people he either felt were tacky, dumb or not conscious enough. missing marrakech: the brilliant bill willis On September 24, 2017 - CREATIVE MINDS , INTERIOR INTRIGUE “Willis’s fresh eye came along to rejoice in its contrast of grand sobriety, rainbow palette and subtle variations on ancient Islamic themes. He was in touch with himself and creation, a confidence in what he thought was right, good and beautiful. One maalem (or master craftsman), in particular, opened many doors for the decorator: Ma’alem Houman, who was skilled in the brickwork and tadelakt (a glazed plaster mixed with pigment and soap) that Willis brought out of the hammam (or bathhouse) and into Moorish interiors. Arrivé en 1966, à Marrakech, Bill Willis n’en repartira plus, jusqu’à sa mort, en janvier 2009. Elegantly detailed brickwork, tadelakt and painted wood boldly articulating the architecture were his private pleasures. The Gettys on the roof  of Palais de Zahia. Early in his Marrakech career, he built a little jewel of a house at Sidi Mimoun—all brick, at once graceful and robust. Start with aperitifs on the cushion-strewn roof terrace overlooking the Koutoubia Mosque, then settle into a table by the pool for lamb tagine and chicken with lemons. For centuries, silver-bearded turbaned craftsmen from Fez and Meknes had been coming to work in the ancient mosques and palaces of Marrakech, instructing sloe-eyed youths in their arts. Saint Laurent and Bergé had discovered their rundown corner of paradise soon after their arrival. Among the very first were Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who sensed instantly that here was an artist of exceptional gifts and imagination. His interment in Marrakech’s Christian cemetery (where he lies in the company of old drinking companions) was attended by several dignified Moroccan men representing the guilds of the city’s craftsmen and builders. The Gettys’ place sprung to life as Gore Vidal, Marianne Faithful, Michelangelo Antonioni, Dado Ruspoli, the Rolling Stones and Lords Warwick and Lichfield visited to bask in its sudden refreshment. Bill … Schmied and Boutet de Monvel; a small dining room with bold flowering panels and a deep-scarlet steeply beamed ceiling; and out to the garden and the green-roofed pavilion that seems to float above the pools of water lilies. Apr 2, 2012 - This Pin was discovered by Veronica Munoz. For all enquiries including screening requests, please. From €3,790 per night. This is post number one of a three part series on Moroccan style interiors. He looks for perfection, and I believe he was a genius. Discover (and save!) Later, in the early ’80s, they bought the much larger Villa Oasis—Majorelle’s own house—and, with Willis editing, enriching and echoing earlier work, created the richly wrought pleasure dome that became their home (Dar es Saada was converted to a guesthouse). Not all were local. L’Hôtel Marrakech combines superb Moroccan craftsmanship with pieces of Jasper’s antique furniture, textiles, lighting and art – some of which were acquired from the personal collections of Bill Willis and Yves Saint Laurent. Houman would introduce Willis to masters of other crafts, including zellige (glazed tile mosaic), gebs (carved and incised white plaster) and mashrabiya (intricately carved cedar for pierced screens). L’Hôtel Marrakech combines superb Moroccan craftsmanship with pieces of Jasper’s antique furniture, textiles, lighting and art – some of which were acquired from the personal collections of Bill Willis and Yves Saint Laurent. He was not grieved that so many of his ideas had been hijacked by far less gifted architects and soi-disant designers, nor did he trumpet the truth that so much happening in modern Moroccan architecture and decoration had once flowed from his pen and his head of wild curls. Referred to as the “Magician from Memphis,” the unknown decorator was responsible for saving Moroccan craftsmanship from extinction in the 1960s. So, as life rolled on, he spent more time at home listening to opera and watching tennis. Villa in Marrakech, Région de Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz € 2,950,000 980 m² 3 4 Villa Allal is a sumptuous property of classic style designed by Bill Willis, with an elegant look and a timeless touch. Loum-Martin features works from pioneers Bill Willis, Yves Saint Laurent, and Pierre Bergé, who led the way in bringing Moroccan design to the masses. From the marbled central hall, with its raised platform for musicians, rooms flow: on the right, the wondrous library and bedroom; on the left, the salon vert—its ceiling green and white; the salon bleu, with its shimmering fireplace and paintings by F.L. The theatrical restaurant Dar Yacout designed by Bill Willis in Marrakech. Willis was capable of working in many veins. He breathed new life into the traditional techniques of North African craftsmen, boldly rewriting the rules of these ancient methods. * In loving memory of Pierre Bergé, Quito Fiero, Christopher Gibbs, Kathy Kriger and Mohammed Zkhiri who have since passed away. your own Pins on Pinterest Many people contributed to this astonishing creation—Jacques Grange to the furnishing; Messieurs Dominique and Filloucat, both of Marrakech, to the woodwork and the painting, respectively—but it was always Willis who interpreted, with boundless verve and imagination, the yearnings of his more fastidious, most favored and like-minded clients. He could be outrageous at points but he also had very strong principles, that he often couldn’t live up to. Bill Willis, shot by Andee Nathanson in 1967 Mr. Willis life was as interesting as his creations. His disciples are legion, and echoes of his… "Marrakech is the door to Africa," says Christine Alaoui, a French photographer whose inner circle included Yves Saint Laurent and Bill Willis, the eccentric decorator who arrived in the 1960s and adopted Marrakech as his own. Morocco had almost forgotten its indigenous architectural and design history, until Willis’s fresh eye came along to rejoice in its contrast of grand sobriety, rainbow palette and subtle variations on ancient Islamic themes. An Intimate Look Inside Yves Saint Laurent’s Private Marrakech Home 05/10/2018 Hidden within the hustle of urban Marrakech (Morocco’s fabled “pink city”), the Majorelle Garden—along with its colorful, multifaceted crown jewel, the Villa Oasis—is a world-class landmark. He lived among fragments of antiquity and talismanic objects from primitive cultures, creating a setting for him alone—not especially comfortable for visitors, although he was an exemplary host, serving delicious food rather later in the day than most. Bill Willis (1937-2009) was the leading light of Moroccan-style interior design. It was made over a period of two years as we tracked down Bill's friend in Marrakech, London, Paris and New York. Architect Bill Willis helped Saint Laurent and Bergé refine the architecture of the blue salon, while Grange decorated the interior. His disciples are legion, and echoes of his lively vision can still be found everywhere in his adopted country. He studied and rescued the old techniques of craftsmen from North Africa and gave them a new life by daring to change the paradigms of this ancient style. "It's the start of another world." This secret, beautiful world, consisting of two private houses and the public Jardin Majorelle, has been saved from extinction by the Foundation Jardin Majorelle, run by garden designer Madison Cox, Bergé’s longtime friend and restorer of their gardens.Villa Oasis, Home of Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé. If you follow the western wall of the king’s new palace, just past the Gettys’ house (which is now owned by Bernard-Henri Lévy and his wife, Arielle Dombasle), there it is, unchanged, at least outwardly. The genius of the architects ! He felt instantly at home in Marrakech, exploring its dusty alleys, unearthing subtle evidence of its ancient culture and discovering craftsmen still working with skills harking back to its medieval past. The Getty residence was his first commission in Marrakech For four decades, the architect and decorator Bill Willis was the unlikely point man in Morocco for voluptuous houses redolent of concubines and the woozy, opium-fogged dreamscapes of 19th-century Western painters like Georges Clairin. They came to show their respect and to honor the memory of someone who came from far away and made an extraordinary contribution to their work and livelihood. Wildly handsome in a green-eyed shock-haired Irish fashion, Willis was orphaned before he turned 20 and blew his inheritance on a jaunt to Europe sampling every hedonistic rapture he could discover before his self-imposed exile to Tangier in 1966. Willis had arrived in Morocco in the mid-1960s after an adventurous decade that took him from the Stella Adler school in New York to England, then to Rome, where he opened an antique shop near the Spanish Steps that dazzled for a moment. Villa Oasis, Home of Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé, I became enchanted with the work of interior designer Bill Willis after a magical trip to Marrakech last September. He liked quivering with sensations all the time. His jet set hedonistic lifestyle was not for the faint of heart. And he was intoxicated during most waking hours. © 2018. Villa Allal is a sumptuous property of classic style designed by Bill Willis, with an elegant look and a timeless touch. François and Betty Catroux, Bill Willis, Yves St. Laurent, Pierre Berge, On September 24, 2017 Others, simultaneously drawn to this city of the plain, were soon lured by Willis and the Gettys from their medina hideaways to Sidi Mimoun, enticed not only by the charms of its inhabitants, but by the grace, wit and sparkle of Willis’s décor, which became swiftly legendary. 2019 - Explore Tomasz Starzewski 's board `` Bill Willis ( 1937-2009 was. 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