BASSIL HOUSES

GHOSTA, LEBANON - IN PROGRESS 2013
Located on a dramatic slope in the village of Ghosta, the site is oriented to the west, where, past the church, the Jounieh bay can be seen through a dramatic perspective that is framed by two mounts left and right. On the site itself, existing terraces have already started to level the site in the model traditionally adopted for agriculture. The program is articulated around two houses for two brothers and their families as well as a smaller apartment for the grandparents. Conceived as a 'fragment of a Lebanese village,' the project seeks to express the two houses of the brothers as nearly independent entities while the common areas of the garden terraces and pool serve as connective landscapes that also reconnect the site to its varying edges notably the pedestrian staircase to the north. In order to greatly reduce the volumetric impact of the project on the site, the bulk of the program (bedrooms of both houses and grandparents' apartment) are all absorbed in a lower terrace that benefits from its own extension to its part of the garden. The remaining living areas expressed as two independent houses on top thus benefit from the ampleness of the pool terrace. The expression of the two houses can thus be kept as compact as possible Read More

Located on a dramatic slope in the village of Ghosta, the site is oriented to the west, where, past the church, the Jounieh bay can be seen through a dramatic perspective that is framed by two mounts left and right. On the site itself, existing terraces have already started to level the site in the model traditionally adopted for agriculture. The program is articulated around two houses for two brothers and their families as well as a smaller apartment for the grandparents.

Conceived as a ‘fragment of a Lebanese village,’ the project seeks to express the two houses of the brothers as nearly independent entities while the common areas of the garden terraces and pool serve as connective landscapes that also reconnect the site to its varying edges notably the pedestrian staircase to the north. In order to greatly reduce the volumetric impact of the project on the site, the bulk of the program (bedrooms of both houses and grandparents’ apartment) are all absorbed in a lower terrace that benefits from its own extension to its part of the garden. The remaining living areas expressed as two independent houses on top thus benefit from the ampleness of the pool terrace. The expression of the two houses can thus be kept as compact as possible but also as faithful as possible to the traditional proportions of a Lebanese house thus avoiding the expression of stacking of floors. Seen from a closer distance, the treatment is a playful twist on the traditional natural stone and red tile typology here rendered as a smooth mosaic of the locally made ‘blatt’ (colored cement tiles) laid on the roofs and walls in singular gestures of thrown and colorful tapestries. Their colors, besides the expected pale browns on the main body or the red on the roof, melt at points in subtle greens with the colors of the landscape below and in subtle blues with the sky above.

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