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Al Ghanim Residence

Chouf, Lebanon
Aborted 2008

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Situated at the highest peak of the Barouk Cedars Nature Reserve in the Chouf Mountains of Lebanon, the project sits on a 6000-square-meter plateau flattened in 1982 by the Israeli military forces to serve as a temporary artillery base. The utopic scenery ruling the site dictates a minimal material intervention and the celebration of transparency. The 360-degree is reconstructed and spread on a circular plane that defines the positioning of the program according to orientations. The fully glazed peripheral façade disappears mechanically into the ground to transform the interior spaces into outdoor belvedere terraces. The only permanent built mass beyond the existing plateau level is the circular ring which defines the roof of the project. The 2500-square-meter project revolves around a central concave void that acts as a central open air courtyard. Rain and snow water are collected and stored below the courtyard in a spherical reservoir of 18 meters in diameter. The reservoir is accessible by an underground gallery and serves as a winter swimming pool that releases a vertical flow of steam at the center of the court above.