Sketched out by a firm named Platau, this contemporary residence is located in Zgharta, Lebanon, and it features 4,305 square feet of living space. It was built on a sloped site and is composed of a pair of L-shaped horizontal levels that follow the area’s natural topography. The lower level comprises the technical areas, the bedrooms and the bathrooms, while the upper floor includes a library, a dining area and a kitchen.
The house was built using high quality materials such as sandstone and white concrete, while the inner facades boast low energy glazing. Facing south, the abode benefits from passive cooling technologies and natural ventilation, which make air-conditioning units obsolete during the summer. Due to its remote location, the property offers fantastic panoramas of the surrounding olive grove, and it can definitely cater to the needs of individuals looking for privacy and comfort far away from a big city.
From the architect:
Zgharta house sits in a Mediterranean olive grove landscape. The site slopes gently to the main road and enjoys an unobstructed view of the agrarian plain and mountains. The house negotiates conditions of inclined topography, views and privacy by massing in two L-shaped horizontal levels that follow the natural terrain: The lower level comprises bedrooms, bathrooms, and technical spaces. The upper level is dedicated to the main living space, dining, kitchen and library.
The extrusion of the two horizontal levels creates a third space, an outdoor courtyard which allows the landscape to slide throughout the house. A u-shaped stone wall wraps diagonally around the two floors, creating an intense outer edge, and a serie of enclosed patios. In the lower level, the patios are a serie of inner gardens that inundate the bathrooms and bedrooms with natural light. In the upper level, the patio is an open air entrance porch. In contrast, interiors are fully glazed, opening up to the privacy of the patios, courtyard and to the distant mountain views. The roof hovers over the house with large cantilevers, bringing shade and privacy to the glazed living spaces below, and blurring inside and outside spaces.
From the street, the house is perceived as a serie of horizontal silhouettes that fade out in the ground, inscribing the house in its larger geography while giving it privacy from the proximity of the road.
The material palette comprises sandstone cladding for the site boundary and u-shaped wall, white concrete for the roof and structure, and low energy glazing for the inner facades. The southern orientation of the house and its massing allows for natural lighting, cross ventilation and passive cooling for all spaces; canceling the need for air-conditioning during the long Mediterranean summer, while benefiting from the optimum sun exposure during winter.
Location: Zgharta, Lebanon
Design Team: Boulos Douaihy, Sandra Frem, Romeo Chahine
Area: 400.0 sqm
Photographs: Ieva Saudargaite
Contractor: Design / built
C&S Engineer: Ghassan Matta
M&E Engineer: Bachir Saadeh, Roger Njeim