Max Alioth (1930 – 2010) was a Swiss architect and his architectural projects, were mainly built in Basel (Switzerland) where he and three partners managed the architectural firm Alioth, Langlotz, Stadler, Buol Architekten. He initiated the planning and construction of the ESAV building. The work started in 2003 and lasted until 2006. Khali Bennami was the executive architect and Stéphane Plassier and Nathalie Locatelli were responsible for interior design. The building was inaugurated in 2007.
The building is located north of Marrakech, about 20 minutes by car from downtown. When you reach the Boulevard Al Kouliyate (from the Anouar Mosque or its opposite direction, from the Boulevard Allal Al Fassi) you can see by far the bright red entrance gate of ESAV the Graduate School of Visual Arts of Marrakech. It is said to be the same color as the lipstick worn by Susanna Biedermann (1943 – 2006), founder of ESAV. After having passed the remarkable red gate, one discovers a cactus garden carefully arranged and diversified before the main entrance door. From the outside, the building presents its ochre-red color, like Marrakech and inside the walls are painted in a radiant white, contrasting wonderfully with the blue sky and the intense green grass of the interior patio, which is located in the heart of the building. The whole building produces a unique and harmonious atmosphere, reflecting the philosophy of its founders, Susanna Biedermann and Max Alioth, to build a place that stimulates to learn to look. The 9,000 m2 architecture has a modern and functional style, in addition to an essential thermal insulation adapted to the climate of the region. It is also an ecological and sustainable construction, unique of its kind in Morocco.