I fell in love with this beautiful Riad.
My trips to Morocco made me feel like opening this guest house in order to share my love for this beautiful country.
Located in a safe area, easy to access, only 60 meters from a guarded car park, the Riad is an ideal place.
It is round the corner from the Bahia Palace and the legendary Jemma Elfna place is only a few minutes away walk through Riad Zitoune, a street in the medina famous for its artcrafts shops.
Some renovation works had been conducted on many occasions but the riad still required serious improvements.
A soil study revealing serious instability and a total lack of foundation compelled me to rebuild it from scratch.
The riad is at the corner of two “derbs” (streets) and backs three other riads.
So a proper reconstruction with good foundations and a self supporting structure would make it completely independent from the neighbouring houses as well as solve the all too familiar issues all the Medina Riad owners know so well: dampness and sanitation… My goal was to rebuild the riad while preserving its soul.
End of May 2011: Pickaxe ground breaking!
Indeed!! The building was entirely demolished by “hand “ using sledgehammers and pickaxes!!
(photo 1 2 3 4)
No machines could be used on the construction site so as not to destabilize the Riad and maintain the neighbours’!
For ten weeks, 200 m3 of dirt and debris were cleared manually and transported away on mules and old carts. (photo 5)
As soon as the demolition was over we started working on the foundations: 36 posts buried 2,5 meters deep! (photo 6)
LAnd of course all building materials (sand, stones, cement, reinforcement bars, formwork planks..)
were carried on mules … we had to work all day and even part of the night !! (photo 7 8 9 10)
Not to mention the “Couscous” breaks for everyone!!! (photo 11) (photo 12)
First floor slab: supplying, shoring, structure and concrete pouring by hand of course. (photo 13 14 15 16)
The outside terrace slab is completed. (photo 17 (photo 18)
Construction of the terrace walls, stairs and sanitation (photo 19 20 21)
After two weeks off for the EID, we are back on tracks with the ground floor slab and partitioning.
As we are building the partitions, I can already imagine the volumes, the interior design, a pleasant and inspiring moment even if there’s still a long way to go… (photo 22 23)
Here am I, four months later with another update
The partitions are up as well as the doors and windows sub frames.
Power distribution, plumbing, hot water heating and air conditioning in the meantime the builders are putting the finishing touches inside: the swimming pool and the fireplace (photo 24 25 26) (photo 27 28 29)
Little by little the grey walls are covered with an immaculate white… The plasterers have arrived and it is such pleasure to see them design the archways, the ceilings and be part of the creation process when everything seems possible… (photo 30 31) (photo 32 33 34) (photo 35 36)
Meanwhile the insulation, waterproofing and the terrace design have been completed with a beautiful view on the Atlas Mountains in the background.
(photo 37) (photo 38)
Both facades are covered with scaffoldings ready for the Tadelakt coating. (photo 39 40 41)
This month is dedicated to the selection of the floors, the colours and the woodwork. (photo 42)
We have chosen to use traditional Moroccan material such as tadelakt, zellig, wrought iron, carved plaster and cedar wood panels. (photo 43) (photo 44) (photo 44a ) (photo 45)
Riad Houma was entirely constructed by local skilled craftsmen who brought their ancestral knowhow and invaluable heritage and gave the riad its beautiful colors, its magic and warm atmosphere.
Nevertheless, We carefully ensured that the blend between a refined and simple interior design are in perfect match with the traditional Moroccan architecture.
After a few weeks, still in the care of our craftsmen, Riad Houma lightens up, the warm colors, the subtle lighting bring out peace, harmony and glamour…Reinventing tradition.
Only a couple of weeks to go before we complete the works …hopefully … inchallah !