Esas Architects

Four Dwellings . Abou Al Sous

source: courtesy of Esas Architects

The project is a residential complex for a couple and their three adult children.  In order to reconcile the parent's vision of a communal family home with their children's desire for privacy and independence, the design seeks a simple confluence between four detached apartment units and one extended family house.  The structure is conceived accordingly - four isolated volumes, each with an identical programme of public living spaces, are stacked atop a continuous lower level that houses the more intimate family spaces.
Located within a rural hillside area some 30 kilometers east of Amman, the site is characterized by its steep slope, wealth of native oak trees, and expansive views that stretch to the northern edge of the Dead Sea on a clear day.  Taking these qualities into consideration, the building is understood through a series of spaces in which their primary relationships alternate between the immediate site and the commanding view of the Jordanian desert.
Descending from the access road at the top of the property, the volumes of the upper floor appear anchored within the landscape, drawing an analogy to the numerous stone outcroppings that mark the property while minimizing any obstruction of the sweeping view.  Once inside, each volume is focused toward the opposing hills and valley below.  This dialogue between the interior and the distant landscape heightens as the living space cantilevers beyond the face of the lower floor, fostering a sensation of floating over the hillside.
At the lower level, the programme is combined into a single volume that stretches across the face of the hillside.   Reminiscent of an enduring stone retaining wall, the lower floor maintains a direct relationship to the hillside while defining a boundary between the northern and southern portions of the site.  In this way, the property below the building is set aside as a large outdoor gathering place for the extended family and their intimate acquaintances.

Project Information

Project: Four Dwellings in Abou Al Sous
Architect: Esas Architects
Status: Commision
Client: Mr Raja Seikaly & Mrs Lina Shwayhat
Location: Abou Al Sous, Jordan
Program: (4) 3 bedroom residential units, pool
Total floor area 1100 sq meter
Date: 2008-2009

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