Architect: Bernard Khoury
Firm: Bernard Khoury / DW5
Location: Faraya, Lebanon
Project Type: Residential
Status: Built 2012
Copyright / Photographers: Bernard Khoury (See List of Images)
The project consists of 10 independent mountain residences located in Faraya San Antonio, Mount Lebanon, 1600 meters above sea level. The location of the 2845-square-meter site benefits from its adequate distance from the ski slopes (1km).
The typical response for an agglomeration of mountain chalets in the area is to group them into a single block, splitting the remaining space into communal areas. In most cases, the required total built-up area results in a dense mass; however, the nature of this commission differs in that it calls for individual pavilions.
The proposed scheme was primarily driven by the location and the desire to take advantage of its panoramic views. A circular plan was therefore established in order to prevent “screen” situations where glazed facades typically offer flat views of the surroundings at different orientations, while simultaneously avoiding the notion of having principal, lateral and back facades, which typically imply vis-à-vis and front-to-back situations.
The circular plan thus allows for continual glazing wrapped around the volume, giving rise to progressive visual vistas along its circumference. The units are arranged and oriented in a specific manner in relation to each other so as to insure adequate views for each villa out to the encircling landscape, as well as through the residual spaces between them.
Each villa consists of 5 circular plates of 65 square meters each, with a total of 260 square meters of built-up area per unit. Independent terraced gardens define the individual plot of each property allowing for outdoor visitor access in addition to individual vehicular access from street level provided for each villa independently.
The lower ground level consists of a covered car parking with adequate storage. First level above consists of a guest room, a personnel’s room, and a guest powder room. Next level above is where the reception, dining and kitchen are located with direct access to a private garden. Above the reception level, two bedrooms with their independent bathrooms can be reached through the circular staircase which follows the radial perimeter of the general layout throughout the structure or by an optional elevator that serves all floors. The master bedroom is located on the last level with its fire place situated at the center of a 180-degree panoramic backdrop.
The final composition suggests a collection of organic objects as opposed to the dense agglomeration of pavilions usually obtained by the more typical approach.