ay house
yarze, lebanon

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.


2 floors 1,500 m², 1 basement 1,000 m², 5,000 m²  land


client: Private
architecture: nabil gholam architects
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