Morocco: Courtyards and Gardens

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Monacelli Press, 2007 - Architecture - 224 pages
In the North African land of Morocco, every dar-dwelling, religious institution, or commercial building is organized around an interior, walled courtyard that provides privacy from the bustle of urban streets and an outdoor space for social interaction and tranquil meditation. Over the course of centuries, ornamental schemes have evolved to incorporate not only native plant life but also intricate water features and patterned tile work known as zellij, all of central significance to the Moroccan culture and climate.

Vitally important for providing shade and catching breezes in an arid landscape, Moroccan gardens are designed and cultivated with vibrant color and aromatic plants. Author Achva Benzinberg Stein explores the three main types of gardens—the simple and elegant paved patio form of the ouest ed-dar, the more elaborately planted riyad, and the agdal, an open, cultivated landscape. Striking color photographs, including numerous aerial views, show gardens and courtyards in Marrakech, Fez, and elsewhere.

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A must-have for landscape architecture students and design professionals!
Professor Stein was the Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program in the School of Architecture, University
of Southern California (USC) when I was studying in USC. She is one of the best teachers and most talented professors that I have ever met and I learned a lot from her, including motivation for study, design methodology, landscape theory, etc. She was my teacher and she'll always be my teacher. I have great respect for her.
Even though there are a variety of garden styles in the world, they can be put into two major landscaping systems: formal gardens and naturalistic gardens. The formal gardens are represented by Egyptian gardens, Persian gardens, Islamic gardens, Moroccan gardens, Italian gardens, French gardens, some American gardens and some English gardens, etc. The naturalistic gardens are represented by Chinese traditional gardens, some English gardens, some Japanese gardens and some American gardens, etc.
Professor Stein has done research on gardens in arid climates for decades. "Morocco: Courtyards and Gardens" is a significant contribution to the field of landscape architecture. It is extremely well-written and comprehensive, filled with striking photos. It covers the social and cultural influences, basic Moroccan garden categories and layout, plant materials, ornamental schemes, and shade and shadow, etc.
"Morocco: Courtyards and Gardens" is one of the best on this subject. It is written by a great professor with many years of experience and excellent design expertise. It is a must-have for landscape architecture students and design professionals!
Gang Chen, Author of "LEED AP Exam Guide" & "Planting Design Illustrated." LEED AP, AIA



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About the author (2007)

Achva Benzinberg Stein is director of the Graduate Landscape Architecture Program and professor in the School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at the City College of New York. Her landscape design practice is based in New York.

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