DL2A : Didier Lefort Associated Architects

By Monique Delanoue-Paynot

The Datai Langkawi-Malaysia

With accomplishments in every corner of the globe, this charismatic builder has carved out a niche in the world of luxury hospitality, residences, and business offices.

Didier Lefort

From Morocco to Paris, from Pakistan to India, from Africa to Asia, Didier Lefort designs, builds, renovates, and develops… His motto? To respect nature and local cultures. From social projects to 5-star resorts, he is primarily a passionate advocate of architecture and sustainable achievements. “My main concern is to style the buildings I create.” Attuned to his era and his teams, he now works with his children who are ensuring the succession: Quentin and India. A Parisian meeting at his agency, DL2A, which has won multiple awards, including a 2017 architecture and interior design competition for the construction of an office complex in the heart of Casablanca Finance City, the brand new business district of the famous white city.


Architect, designer, how do you define yourself?

Both at the same time! When I was in my final year of architecture at the Beaux-Arts, I wanted to complement my knowledge with a degree from the National School of Decorative Arts. Color, lighting, materials, and furniture, all these themes that allow for attention to detail, interested me. The projects carried out by the DL2A agency blend architecture and interior design. We are between a dozen and twenty people in Paris because I have many associates in the countries I work for. The local interior architects generate very constructive exchanges. With each project, it’s important to take the roots and cultures of the continent and extract the contemporary aspect. Another important parameter is to never lose money! The office tower we delivered in Casablanca reflects a relationship with the country and the synthesis of the essential constraints and parameters from a financial standpoint.

The Datai Langkawi Resort

After its creation with Australian architect Kerry Hill on a land spanning over 18 hectares, the legendary Datai Langkawi, an eco-friendly 5-star resort built in 1993 and renovated in 2018, has just celebrated its 30th anniversary. A best-seller that has won numerous awards!


Why this love for distant places?

I was born in Morocco, studied in France, and very early on had the opportunity to work all over the world for Aga Khan and his foundation. This reinforced my international outlook. My passion is to realize a project wherever it may be: the Dataï in Langkawi, Malaysia, or the M Avenue in Marrakech. I love Asia as much as Morocco! Recently, there was talk of working on a new refuge on Mont Blanc, I would have loved to do something at 4000 meters altitude on the rocks, an incredible challenge and a source of pride. Like setting up an entire financing program in Pakistan for the restoration of a 14th-century fortress, located at high altitude, which after 10 years of work under incredible conditions has become an extremely visited cultural center today.

Architects Didier and Quentin Lefort of DL2A have made their mark in the heart of Marrakech with “M Avenue”. A full avenue stretching 550 meters, connecting the Menara Avenue with its olive gardens to Mohamed VI Boulevard. For this spectacular project built on 5 hectares, the sponsor Downtown Hotel Corporation (DHC) did not hesitate to invest a billion dirhams (over 90M€). The Pestana CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo hotel is part of the project.

Casablanca TOUR CIMR

The CIRM Tower in Casablanca, built on an area of 14,500 m2. According to Didier Lefort Architectes Associés, more than 200 people will have worked on this project, with a total investment of 20 M€.

Does the current trend lead you to be visionary, or even futuristic?

Our goal is not to try to create the project of the future or to indulge in every whim. The parameter that is emphasized today is environmental. And we respond to this by having received a major UNESCO architecture award at the global level, first for Africa and then for all continents. However, the way of working has changed. The reflection on the future in the field of luxury hospitality, which once targeted a clientele of a certain age, is now relevant for a generation enriched by new startups, whose vision is different. Nowadays, people with money like to come to a hotel with their family while managing their business during their vacations. We must be part of this evolution. All while maintaining our signature, which is to create for the long term. Good design never goes out of style!

Your projects for 2024?

Everything related to ecology with the creation of eco-lodges in Asia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Polynesia… And many different projects underway including Abu Dhabi or closer to us, the restoration in the Bordeaux region of Château Dauzac, this great classified growth of Margaux.

The CIRM Tower in Casablanca, built on an area of 14,500 m2. According to Didier Lefort Architectes Associés, more than 200 people will have worked on this project, with a total investment of 20 M€.

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