al mazraat development
mazraat kfarzebiane, lebanon

The site, not far from the sought-after and overbuilt ski resort of Faraya, is on the northern face of Mount Lebanon, a green island in otherwise arid surroundings.

ngª set out to design an ecological village within the parameters of a traditional commercial development. A low density Master Plan was developed from the start, respecting the philosophy of passive energy and careful site integration.

The program conceived by ngª  includes the design of a five-star hotel, a polo field, several walking and riding tracks, public gardens and green arteries, and a range of plots for single and multi-family houses as well as green condominiums. Minimal earth movements all but eliminate the impact on the existing topography, roofs are landscaped with indigenous flora and irrigated in the dry season from melted snow collected and stored in natural pond-reservoirs. A strong central axis bisects the length of the land with a succession of stairs and water-ways that imprint the scheme with a strong civic character, giving the project a sense of scale and of orientation and allowing full pedestrian access to the entire site. Beneath this public “spine”, ngª  located an easily accessible technical tunnel to house the secondary and tertiary infrastructure networks serving the entire development.

Furthermore, the program succeeds in enabling the owner to preserve the three existing hectares of apple orchards and to create new planting grounds in the organic farm, supplying the residents with fresh produce.

The architecture is kept closely vernacular, so residents can enjoy a sense of place and continuity in a country where displacement and dislocation are ubiquitous. Under scrutiny from an independent market research team, the scheme proved extremely popular.

300,000 m² buildable over 1 million m² land


architecture & urban planning: nabil gholam architects