AB House

Plot area: 12,249 sq.ft
BUA: 9,365 sq.ft
Project Year: 2009
Location: Al Barsha South First
The concept for the AB-HOUSE is a multi-tiered and organized according to symbolic, utilitarian and aesthetic factors. The main underlying theme is that the villa is a metaphor for the common Emarati, one whose traditional appearance is reinforced by a spirit that strives to embrace modernity yet is strongly guided by a defined and sacred path. Traditional archetypes characterizing the typical Emarati house such as the wind tower, courtyard and mashrabia were extracted and reinterpreted in a modern context. The AB-Villa also begins to address problems plaguing common residential developments within the MENA region such as monotony of appearance; lack of local identity; lack of natural lighting; lack of privacy; lack of relevance to place; lack in embodiment of Islamic principles and lack of functions catering to the local lifestyle. Additionally issues related to sustainability have also been addressed through practical design approaches rather than relying on technical approaches. These sustainable solutions addressed issues of shade, utilizing prevailing north-westerly winds and introducing solar barriers within the form of the building mass. In general the aesthetic appearance of the villa reiterates those of traditional wind tower houses in terms of mud-brick walls, wooden mashrabias and coral stone walls.
These have been preserved and reinterpreted in a modern context based the requirements of the present age. Coral stones have been replaced with irregularly spaced stone cladding, wooden slats with painted aluminium sections and finally mud brick exterior with stone paints. The main aesthetic direction for the development is a solid exterior with a transparent interior. A solid exterior with minimal window openings is juxtaposed with a glazed transparent interior. The details reflect this concept as well; proportions of windows reminiscent of the recesses found in traditional courtyard houses have minimal openings for privacy and reducing solar gain. Within the courtyard the concept is reversed where massive glazed curtain wall systems have replaced the slits. Additionally Horizontal Groove lines along the face and vertical ones along the wind tower have been introduced to emphasize the characteristics of each mass.