Location: Yarze, Lebanon
Area: 2 floors 1,500 m², 1 basement 1,000 m², 5,000 m² land
Architects: Nabil GholamArchitects
Landscape Architecture: Nabil Gholam Architects
Structural Engineer: P.A.R. Consultants
Electro-Mechanical Consultant: Pierre Dammous & Partners
Lighting Design: The Lofts
Photography: Richard Saad, Nabil Gholam
The clients’ requirements were specific, with a detailed brief. Their move from an urban apartment to a landscaped house with a garden set a challenge of creating an overlap of functioning coupled with a need for compactness and added security. The challenge was to capitalize on the benefits of the site as well as economizing on the circulation spaces, creating as few corridors as possible.
The formal spaces, with high ceilings of 4.2m clear, move in and out along the main garden space on the ground floor enhancing the feeling of inside out as well as appropriating the garden in some instances. Service spaces are compactly tucked into the spaces behind the formal dining area.
Above, the volume housing the bedrooms and more intimate spaces of the program, bridges the width of the site, maximizing the views towards the landscaped gardens. The series of spaces sets a standard of private bedrooms connecting at times with more open family rooms. The simple volume is enclosed in a vertical system of louvers which functions as a living skin opening and closing where needed, shading from heat and acting as a barrier shielding it from the neighboring plots and the road.
The land is sloped with a ‘forest’ of trees located on both the upper and lower areas of the site. A large garden carved at the south eastern corner of the site acts as interstitial space mediating the dialogue of private and public.
Thick stone walls with deep openings, low e glazing and planted roofs work to stabilize the temperature inside and absorb the climate extremes, leading to an improved quality of life paired with a reduction in energy consumption. Sustainability is enhanced further through collecting the water that is filtered to be used domestically as well as for irrigation.
Nabil Gholam Architects
nabil gholam architects
Nabil Gholam studied Architecture at the UP-Paris Villemin, ex-Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to New York six years later to complete his studies in Urban Planning at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Moving from Manhattan to Barcelona, via southern China, where he briefly taught urban planning at the Yunnan Institute of Technology through the Kinney Fellowship, Nabil Gholam first began to practice architecture professionally at Ricardo Bofill’s Taller de Arquitectura, where as an Associate, he rose to handle the practice’s international projects.
In 1994, he set up his own office in Beirut. Later, in parallel with the firm’s growing reach, a European office was established to better direct its international ventures, first in Barcelona in 2006 before relocating to Seville in 2010.
Used to living in flux, Gholam has led a nomadic existence since the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon in 1975, his work and travels taking him on a circuit between Beirut and Paris, New York, Chicago, Yunnan, Barcelona, Istanbul and Seville and this constant criss-crossing of the globe has had a profound impact on his work.
Today, nabil gholam architects has grown into an international multidisciplinary team of architects, planners, designers and consultants with a portfolio spanning an extensive list of projects in architecture and urbanism. ngª has attracted attention, winning several competitions and major international awards.
jisr el-wati, street 90
building 110, 2nd floor
beirut 2066 8421
t: +961 1 423 513
f: +961 1 423 510
paseo de las delicias 3, 3º Dcha
t:+34 95 421 33 56
f:+34 95 421 81 32
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