VILLA AT AL-MEZHAR

Location: Sharjah, UAE
Type: Private residence
Structure: Concrete, steel
Year: 2008

The Villa at Al-Mezhar is a typological and ecological moiré, derived from the desire for an particular aesthetic atmosphere. The villa is produced by the interference of two residential types, the bar and the courtyard. These types are familiar to the region as cultural models and also ecological responses to the desert climate. The bar building is a solid object which through the thickness of wall creates a cool interior. The courtyard building uses the thinness of program wrapping a central void to encourage natural ventilation through the house, often accompanied and aided by a fountain providing evaporative cooling. Culturally both of these types have an emphasis of the importance of the privacy of the home, and are focused around the interior environment. Formally though these two types are at odds with each other. One is a solid object the other, a voided center. To place the object into the center is to negate both types. This is unless you allow them to overlay and diffract. In this design, the solid bar is elevated and presented to the street as a blunt blank object. It is only upon entering the villa under this object that the revelation of the typological friction is revealed. The solid bar dissolves and softens towards the middle of the villa to form a double stranded trellis that shades and covers the open central court. This court is the location of a lap swimming pool that aids the production of a micro-climate of evaporative cooling. As stated, the trellis above is double stranded. The strands of the major trellis members separate and are connected by standard length steel ties which gives them greater spanning length through truss like depth. This doubling is also what produces the moiré effect phenomenon as one moves through the space. This effect is doubled through the flattened projection of shadows onto the deck and pool, animated by the movement of the sun through the day.

 

 
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