Vertical Courtyard Villa



Private residence

This competition-winning scheme strikes a balance between luxury, privacy and Islamic tradition. The heart of the villa is a 20m-span roofed garden that frames an exclusive view to the Arabian Gulf. Conceptually It is a re-orientated courtyard that opens towards the sea, rather than up.

For the spatial arrangement, we take inspiration from the Islamic tiling pattern of two differently sized squares. This very regularity generates a maximum amount of variety with a minimum number of elements and helps us develop the design in various scales. In a microscale, it generates a stone wall pattern perforated with glass-brick openings. In a macro scale, it produces the plans that adhere to a 6m/2m network. The larger 6m grid fits bigger spaces - dining, bedroom, etc.; the smaller 2m grid provides rooms for baths, lightwells and vertical circulations.

Additionally, the two-grid system offers flexibility to respond to the site context, particularly at ground floor level. On the street side, where privacy is essential, rooms are packed tightly. On the courtyard side, where openness is relevant, the grids merge to suit. Finally, where the courtyard meets the beach, the network loosens up to accommodate water channels and planters. On a conceptual level, the villa is an abstract process that dissolves towards the shore - seamlessly transitioning the formal quality into leisure atmosphere.

Our material selection aims to enhance this continuity. We focus on creating a sophisticated palette of colour, texture and pattern. For instance, the ocean's aquamarine colour pairs turquoise Verde Guatemala marble; white dunes and sandy limestones. We are currently working on an interior strategy to extend this coherent lavishness into every detail.