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From Candida Tabet Arquitetura
Promptly on our first meeting, the client defined himself as “very conventional”, setting the tone to our architectural options since we were to dress his family with this dwelling located in the Ghouma village north of Biblos in Lebanon.
After spending a few days on site I became delighted with the cultural diversity and decided to further explore it by paying a tribute to the traditional construction methods and the many people that left their marks onto this area.
Engraved into the mountains, the house develops into three floors delivering two on slab patios.
The outline of the stone fetched walls stacked along the contour lines define and orient the agricultural terraces - referred to in Arabic as jall.
The kabou - goat shelter built with non-caulked stones, earthen floor and a wood and clay slab - was used as a reference point. However, in order to preserve its majesty, a respectful distance from it was established.
In respect to the surrounding mountains, the house was placed onto the site in such a way that despite its 1500m2 of built area, it offers only two facades.
Defined by the vegetation running along the hillside, the first floor level contains the access and service areas; the following level contains the social areas and family bedrooms and on the last floor the guest area.
Each floor level gifts the lower one with an outdoor patio - Phoenician heritage - outlined by diwans in the shape of peripheral walls. These patios reveal the external areas and flirt with the northern, eastern and westerns valleys, showcasing convents, agricultural terraces, goat pastures, etc. The proposed pergola used to shade the patios was inspired on the round stick construction style found in the forest area of the Bekaan planes.
The Lebanese residential architecture of the 20th Century received much influence from the brief presence of the French and such architectural characteristic is represented by the red clay roof tiles chosen for the upper roof. The over-dimensioned colonnade pays a subtle homage to the passing of the Romans a very long time ago, leaving behind spectacular architectural marks, amongst them, the Baalbek ruins.