When four brothers with four distinct personalities wanted to construct an upscale residential building in a wooded Beirut suburb, 109 Architectes played on the concept of a harmonious quartet.
Four blocks anchor the project to the plot, a hill blanketed in pine and oak trees. Together, the blocks form four stories that interact with the environment, demonstrating the green approach that saturates the building from design to material. They preserve the forest while overlooking the city below.
A distinct function is assigned to each box: the sleeping area; the guest room or office; the service area; and the reception area. Three are constructed as solid boxes with stone cladding. With exposure to the elements, the stone will naturally fade into the environment over time. Full-height windows allow of flood of natural light and panoramic views. On each floor, they are positioned to maximize an exclusive vista of trees and topography lines.
In contrast, the reception block materializes as a series of stacked white slabs framing the scenery. It establishes a direct dialog with the surrounding trees, sliced on one side to accommodate an existing trunk, or reaching out to a centuries-old branch.
A book-lined corridor acts as a boulevard connecting the blocks, and a family room is the heart of each house. On each floor it overlooks the front and back of the forest, creating an uninterrupted network of inhabitants, branches, and birds. The layout maximizes cross ventilation, allowing nature’s elements to interact with the building.
Creating an exceptional experience for each brother was essential to the project. The architects considered an individual home’s relationship with the trees to create its distinct character. The ground floor is washed in soft sunlight, set within the tree trunks and beneath the canopy. The first floor hovers among branches, and the second floor floats just above the treetops, giving the illusion that one could reach out and touch them. Perched high above the woodland, the third floor looks out onto the horizon.
Partners in Charge: Youssef Mallat
Architect in Charge: Richard Kassab
Team: Richard Azzam, Joy Traboulsi, Samer Bazzy
Location: Baabda, Lebanon
Project area: 1800m2
Structural consultant: B.E.T. Mattar
Mechanical consultant: Barbanel & Ibrahim Mounayar
Electrical consultant: Gilbert Tambourgi
Photos: Ieva Saudargaitė
Glass: Bifem-Paralu / PanoramAH