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Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Lebanon Architecture News - Oct 05, 2021 - 13:47   2799 views

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Beirut-based architecture practice Karim Nader Studio has built a retreat that expands landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the limestone bedrock of Faqra, Lebanon.

The house, called On the Rocks House, presents a spectacular canvas of grays that the house desires to be retreat. 

Lebanese architect and founder the studio Karim Nader chooses an inspiring site in Faqra where rock formations carved by millennia of rain and snow compose a natural inviting cradle with panoramic views to the club, the surrounding rock park, the valleys and Beirut beyond.

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

The house is situated on the limestone bedrock of Faqra, Lebanon, at 1,700 meters above sea level as a sort of extension of the inspiring local natural condition: a lunar landscape of rock formations carved by millennia of rain and snow, with panoramic views to the club, the surrounding rock park, the valleys and Beirut beyond.

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

The house is accessed by a stunning floating staircase that, cascading between the built volumes and meandering around the rocks, seems to be almost emerging from the limestone formations surrounding the house.

The thickness and the overall sense of compactness offered by the concrete enclosures is counterbalanced by a careful use of glass in a dynamic relationship that characterizes all rooms in the house. A zinc roof hovers above those apparently dispersed boxes, creating a seeming enclosure.

"But where roof happens, enclosure disappears, and where enclosure happens, roof disappears," said Karim Nader. 

"The intimacy of enclosure is here opposed to the openness of an extreme transparency as they do not happen at once in this atypical house," Nader added.

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

The punctuated volumes include three bedrooms, fully cladded in wood to offer a warm environment, opens up to a small patio with a tree, a rock and a selected perspective to the outside.

The living rooms sit under the bridging roof - extending 18m in length - and are bounded by fully operable facades to the north and south, allowing its inhabitants to enjoy sheltered outdoors space in the warmer months.

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

"Nature builds us and we build upon Nature," as Karim Nader points out. "I seek to always listen. To the site of course, and the voices of nature, but also to the human context."

The house is seeking a total immersion in nature, as the studio expands the existing grey canvas into man-made fair-faced concrete volumes that contain the intimate functions of the house. 

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

The house features a zinc roof that floats to create a seeming enclosure. The intimacy of enclosure is here opposed to the openness of an extreme transparency as they do not happen at once in this atypical house.

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Exploded axonometric drawing 

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Ground floor plan

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Basement floor plan 1

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Basement floor plan 2

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Roof plan

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

East elevation

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

West elevation

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Section A

Karim Nader Studio built retreat expanding landscape with dispersed boxes and zinc roof on the rocks

Section B

The project started construction in 2020, and completed in the summer of 2021.

Karim Nader Studio previously completed a residential tower, Banque du Liban CMA building, in Beirut, Lebanon. The firm is also working on the renovation of Immeuble De L’Union Residential Building in Beirut. 

Project facts

Project name: On the Rocks House

Architects: Karim Nader Studio

Location: Faqra, Lebanon

Project partner: Roula Assaf

Project Team: Karim Nader with Roula Assaf, Elie Christian Naameh, Yasmina Baladi, Omar Faress Darwish, Elias el Hage

Structural engineering: Elie Turk 

MEP engineering: EAK Signature

Construction: MAK Builders Rami Kassem and Walid Sader

All images © Dia Mrad 

All drawings © Karim Nader Studio

> via Karim Nader Studio