Location: Abu Dhabi
Country: UAE
Client: Private
Category: Architecture

This 2900m2 residence was designed to accommodate four sisters and their families, along with their maternal mother, brother and four housekeepers in what is characteristically an Emirati programme.

Central to the design was planning four quarters with individual accesses that allowed a sense of privacy without secluding them entirely from what is after all a family residence. The ground floor of each typical quarter contains a small kitchen and family living room with staircase access to the first floor.

Organized around a circular central hall, all other functions including the formal reception room (Majless), the family room (facing the mother and brother''s quarters) and guestroom suite all enjoy natural light and views towards the main garden and interior patio with service entry points that connect to the east staircase next to the Majless.

While respecting setback requirements between neighbouring plots, the main structure is set back much further and is separated from the two service structures by an internal courtyard and trellis-covered patios. The latter contain service quarters, laundry, kitchen and utility rooms along with two parking garages for up to eight cars.The Client asked for a large open space in front of the house with a large boundary wall gate. As the primary entrance, the gate was given further emphasis by receding two volumes of the external wall for greenery, a move that is generally unseen in Abu Dhabi. Residents access a lower courtyard before rising 60cm to the main level under a main curved trellis canopy intended to be covered in climbing ivy or other flora that resists the arid climate.The first floor landing leads to all three en-suite bedrooms and connects to the first floor external courtyard which is intended as an all-year external room for children and caregivers (below).The internal courtyard is covered with rounded wood beams supported by the main columns using stainless support tensile rods that lighten the appearance of this open-celled canopy (below).While giving priority to the master bedroom, all rooms are spacious and enjoy clear views outside across shallow recessed balconies that use glass handrails rather than the more traditional wrought iron balustrades.Skylights were planned over the library in the corridor as well as the walk-in changing rooms that lead to the master bathrooms.