Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the designer’s work and its Moroccan influences, will open just steps away from the popular Jardin Marjorelle on October 19. It is situated in Saint Laurent’s former atelier on 5 Avenue Marceau.

Yves Saint Laurent had many muses, but only one Marrakech, the city where he discovered light and color, draping and caftans. There, in a series of homes — of which his final and most notable was the opulent Villa Oasis — Saint Laurent sketched some of his best designs (and hosted some of his wildest parties).

The museum opening comes some 50 years after the designer’s first visit to Morocco. The new, 43,000-square-foot building, designed by the Paris-based firm Studio KO, will house thousands of articles of clothing and haute couture accessories, all carefully selected by Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s partner in business and in life.

“When Yves Saint Laurent discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the place that he decided to buy a house and regularly go back there,” said Pierre Bergé. “It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”

“Here, we wanted to explore the spectacular and fantasy side of the work,” says Madison Cox, Vice President of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and director of the Jardin Marjorelle. Confections like a scarlet faille couture cape embroidered with purple and hot-pink bougainvillea and an African-inspired beaded minidress from the 1967 Bambara haute-couture collection will hang in the permanent exhibition hall. Elsewhere, original scenography incorporating “floating voices, quotes, images and film snippets” by the French architect and set designer Christophe Martin will add a sense of “magic,” says the museum director Bjorn Dahlstrom.

No less expressive is the building itself, with both modern and traditional Moroccan influences (locally-sourced terrazzo, red brick latticework, bush hammered concrete) and a curved facade that mimics the folds of fabric. “We designed it like a sculpture; a game of volumes and heights,” Studio KO co-founder Olivier Marty says of the space, which will feature a bookshop, research library, auditorium and a cafe serving French-leaning fare with a terrace overlooking a reflection pool. Inside, light streams through stained-glass windows inspired by Saint Laurent’s love for Henri Matisse — blues and greens on one side of the entrance hall, reds and tangerines on the other. “He’s Marrakesh and Paris. He’s color and black, masculine and feminine, the line and arabesque,” says Dahlstrom. “Together, it’s essential YSL.”