h house 2008
cairo, egypt

The site of 5,785 m² sits on the highest point of the new development of Allegria. This development is at the strategic crossroads of the Cairo Alexandria Desert Road and the Dasour Road. The site boasts exceptional height over surrounding landscape and on a clear day there are possible views towards Cairo, Giza and the Great Pyramids.

Traditionally Egyptian architecture was based on massive structure characterized by thick walls and few openings. This method has been adopted in the architectural concept for the 1000 m² residence. Predominately occupying the site horizontally, the rooms are orientated to make best use of the cast sense of openness provided by the 18 hole golf course that lies to the west of the site. There are uninterrupted views and vistas from all main spaces in the house.

The house has two faces it offers to the world. The first is a muted succession of stone walls with occasional vertical openings, hinting furtively at the private world behind.

Entrance to this activity is through the main family wing blocks to the south east and the north western wings housing dining and formal living spaces.
Inside the spaces open up using glazed facades, to the gardens on the western side. The concept of massing subdivides the project in to maintained landscaped areas, housing the pool and creates more intimate outdoor spaces. A complete communion between house and nature is accommodated for.

The bedrooms and gym are arranged around one of the courtyards enclosing in part the expansive garden. The massing of northern wings form a partial enclosure around an outdoor eating space and reflecting pool. Patios interstitially dotted throughout the house, reinforce the connections between inside and out.

The favorable orientation captures the wind that sweeps across the open golf course, allowing spaces to be cross ventilated. The thermal insulation and passive energy devices allow the house to be efficient in its energy consumption.


1,500 m² house + 300 m² Basements on 5,785 m² site


architecture: nabil gholam architects
structural design: Bureau d’Etudes Rodolphe Mattar
electro-mechanical design: Pierre Dammous & Partners
landscape design: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
3D images: nabil gholam architects, Naji Sleiman