Restaurant and nightlife, Venue, Culture

A palace for the arts

ARTS Spread over 3,000 m2, the living arts studio offers the largest selection of cultural education in Casablanca, and even the Kingdom. Made in Medina stopped by for a tour with Simo, front of house manager, for a private visit.

We often say that culture is like jam, the less that we have, the more it’s spread over. Fihr Kettani, the young Casablancan entrepreneur at the heart of the project, doesn’t think like that.

Quite the opposite in fact. He wants to give culture its place to develop and grow. And so he’s opened up a unique project in Morocco. Spread over 3,000 m2 the Studio des Art Vivants includes classrooms, a 600-seat theatre, restaurant and even an art gallery. You could say it’s like a labyrinthe.

“At the beginning, even I felt lost,” recalls Simo, the front of house manager “But we figured it out quickly.”

The guided tour starts here
“So, am I taking you on a visit?” Let’s go.

From the entrance, the red doors leading to the theatre only hint at what occupies much of the right wing. To the left, the reception, behind which we can see a lounge and two offices.

Then the Wellness room. Simo embraces the space with a large hand gesture.

“There’s space, eh. We can do yoga, Pilates, Body Combat, there’s even workshops for adolescents.”

We continue on. Still on the ground floor, at children’s height, is the Petit Studio.

“Here, it’s a more general artistic awakening. The children, between three and six years, learn music as well as dance, fables, plastic arts and even gymnastics.”

Later, they move into their preferred discipline.

Restaurant, boutique, and art gallery

“Elevator or stairs?” Feeling atheltic and courageous, we opt to take the stairs up to the first floor, which part of the glass walls and corridors provide a view of the garden. Simo shows a sign, “It helps to identify”.

At the end, we pass nine different rooms each with a red door, and each one marked by the letter R, like red, a number and a logo. A piano here, a singer there, a bit further a violin. “Enter and knock after,” it says the same on the drumming room door.

“Watch the thickness of the walls,” laughs Simo while showing a wall at least 30 centimetres. “We’ll be able to bang around without bothering the class next door.”

This time, we dare to take the elevator down to the basement. Two large dance studios, a parquet floor with a glass door opening into the garden, leading to Galerie 38. “Both to expose what is happening here and to accommodate the outdoors program.”

Here, the room names start with G, like grey. Then the restaurant overlooking a small open-air amphitheatre. Each day, thirty employees, including 20 instructors, pass through this immense cultural complex. And each day, children, teens and adults stop by to try to accomplish a little more.

Text: Mathias Chaillot
Translation: Mandy Sinclair