Riad Chichi

A guide to Morrocan tourism

Uncovering the Mysteries and Wonders of Riad Moroccan Architecture

Moroccan architecture is a distinct architectural style that has been shaped by various cultures and civilizations that have ruled the country over the centuries. One of the most intriguing and fascinating examples of Moroccan architecture is the Riad. These buildings are located in the heart of the medina, or old city, in Morocco and were traditionally used as large family homes or palaces. Today, many have been converted into guesthouses or boutique hotels, allowing visitors to experience first-hand the beauty and wonder of Riad Moroccan architecture.

The word ‘riad’ comes from the Arabic word for garden, ‘ryad.’ This is because every Riad has a central courtyard where a garden or fountain is usually present. From this central courtyard, the rest of the building is built upwards and outwards to form a maze of rooms, hallways, and staircases. Unlike the elaborate facades of European architecture, Riads are often quite plain and unassuming from the outside. This is because the Moroccan culture traditionally regards privacy as an essential aspect of family life, and therefore the outer walls of the home are usually plain and unremarkable.

Visitors to a Riad will be in for a treat as they roam around the various rooms, discovering secret doorways and hidden courtyards. The building’s interior decorations are often stunning, with intricate tilework, carved wooden doors, and plasterwork that displays geometric shapes and Islamic calligraphy. The earthen-colored walls and cool, shaded terraces provide an escape from the heat of the Moroccan sun, immersing visitors in a peaceful and inviting atmosphere.

The construction of these buildings is not only beautiful but also incredibly sustainable. The design of the buildings encourages cross-ventilation, with each room opening out onto the central courtyard. This means that cool air from the garden or fountain can flow through the building, keeping the temperature down on hot summer days. The thick walls of the Riad also provide excellent insulation, keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winter.

The Riad Moroccan architecture is a stunning example of a unique cultural heritage that has been preserved for centuries. The combination of traditional Islamic and Berber motifs and designs gives these buildings a timeless quality that continues to captivate visitors to this day. For those visiting Morocco, a stay in a Riad is an absolute must. Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Riad architecture and experience the wonder of Moroccan history and culture in these exceptional buildings.