(2009) Private Residenceclient : Safeya Ahmed
typology : Residential
services : Architecture, Brand Strategy
where : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This 2,900m2 residence was designed to accommodate four sisters and their families, along with their maternal mother, brother and four housekeepers in what a characteristically 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.
Cladding materials are light to medium beige stone veneer strips on the main facades, white stucco painted window frames and boundary walls, treated ipe-wood trellises as main features on either side of the entrance, light tinted windows and to contrast with the soft colour palette of the walls, a two-shade tone of curved metallic blue aluminium panels on the barrel roof volumes that contain electrical and mechanical equipments, along with storage and ventilations rooms.
The main courtyard canopy is composed of curved stainless steel cross braces supported on concrete piers. The flooring uses aged butt-jointed stone pavers with colour variations and teak wood doors within a well-lit and landscaped environment.