The monumental simplicity of this villa is consistent through its form and function. The circular plan allows spaces to occur at different layers of concentric circles. Pierced by a lush tropical indoor courtyard, this break also separates the public from the private realms. The family room occupies the center and from there diverges the various bedrooms. Each bedroom looks outwards and has its own private terrace.
This family villa consists of two main components; the core and the wrap around. The core contains the intimate family spaces, its private nature is translated onto the façade. It is a two-story box with the bedrooms on the upper floor that encroach into the wrap around. The wrap around itself is on the front side opaque- to give privacy from the driveway- but on the garden side, completely opens up. The glass façade can be retracted entirely so that the spaces themselves feel like they are outside when the weather allows it.
The linear composition of this villa allows for the specific client-requested arrangements of the various components, maximizing views on either side and moving throughout from private to public and back of house spaces. The arrangement of the second floor allows for pockets of private and shared terraced areas. The external treatment is minimalist and brings out the qualities of the various materials used.
In re-modelling the façade of two pre-designed adjacent buildings, three options were suggested. Ultimately the intention is for the design to span across both buildings, introducing a fresh and different aesthetic allowing the buildings to stand out within their context.
Option 1-Strong folds break the grid and lose the predictable and systematic openings.
Rippling angles of shades and shadows create an origami-like texture.
The window frame grows out to embrace the adjacent recessed space which transforms into a balcony.
The angular lines of the adjacent frames face impose strong directionality,
Option 2-Imposing a blanket onto the buildings to mask the various openings, recesses and corners.
Objectifying and creating a monumental statement of scale-with rounded corners.
Within this, playing with the gradual and intersecting rhythms of the vertical lines, creating volumetric texture, shades and shadows.
Option 3-Shifting the grid by playing with the concept of foreground/background
Introducing screens that provide privacy and add a layer of texture.
In redeveloping an old factory located in a prime location into a destination, the goal was to retain the existing legacy of the site. Mostly it was about re-using structures on site and adding small pre-fabricated structures as needed to create a financially realistic and commercially viable scheme for the short-term. Its key features would include: retail, f&b concepts, park/leisure, sporting facilities, and an organic market.
This is a new and different 3-Star hotel brand experience that is creatively lifestyle driven.
Utilizing shipping containers to embed a comfortable hotel accommodation allowed modularity in the guestrooms, low-cost and fast construction, as well as the possibility of shifting the location. With instagrammable views and comfort and efficiency this hotel would surely attract a wide range of travelers.
The idea of a museum that travels through time and space, becomes a vehicle through which a journey is taken, shaped by its environment while leaving a trace on its surroundings. As a distinct and curious object, having landed on foreign soil, it is destined to strike people’s attention and desire to know more about it. It is the monument of the future.
Borrowing ideas from nomadic architecture is befitting as it is structurally sound and inhabitable, yet light in weight and easily installed and dismantled. A truss system made up of small elements is pulled out from its compressed state to enclose a space. The round shape is the strongest of shapes with no weak points, its withstands external wind loads better and is aerodynamic. With reduced exterior surface it also consumes less energy, and on the inside the space is better for the circulation of traffic, air and light.
Dressing the structural membranes behind a unified surface not only protects the structure, but also accentuates it and gives it sculptural qualities.
The design is influenced by the most important chapter of the Quran, both in meaning and in structure.
The mosque is covered in structural blades that arises from the ground and opens upwards towards eternity. The carry the roof and direct the overall shape.
The blades also emphasize the importance of the linearity that follows throughout the site and the continuity that reflects the unobstructed prayers which are also implied in this Surah. The lines guide the worshippers as they start in a procession-like walk from the grass to the earth and onto mosque entrances. Inside the prayer halls the openings from the ceilings continue onto the Qibla wall and reveal the hidden garden beyond and a bed of water reflecting to the sky above and symbolizing purity. In Islam, it is believed that water is the origin of life and knowledge, a divine gift that symbolizes profound wisdom.
When these verses were revealed to the Prophet (PBUH), he did not know how to read or write. The verses encourage all Muslims to read “iqra” and hence learn as it is empowering and enlightening. “Iqra” becomes central to our design not only in the decorative Kufic calligraphy inside the prayer hall, but more importantly because it is carved out of the concrete blades, allowing light to penetrate from the ceiling opening and shine knowledge onto the worshippers below.
Culminating the project both in plan and in elevation, the minaret’s negative carve-out, allowing the minaret to glow like a lighthouse.
The Urban Hangout is a playful composition of containers; camouflaged by a pattern of wood pallets and greenery. The branded weave starts as a ground pattern and evolves into the skin that wraps and appropriates the boxes, whilst they anchor into site. As plants start growing within and between, the intervention blends into its environment while making a mark.
The containers’ location and strategic position targets the different vantage points. The composition, a sculptural shape can stand alone or be appropriated by the users, inside/out, up/down, irrespective of the time of day and season of the year.
Over a period of five years and three offices in three continents, SOM provided an unrivaled career opportunity and exposure to some great projects. Before that, an enlightening work experience with Bernard Khoury changes one’s perception of what is possible.