• Alhumaidhi Architects

Leya Villas

Project Name: Leya Villas

Description: Series of 6 houses (Plot of 4 villas in Salaam, 2 villas in Sideeq)

Location: Salaam & Sideeq, Kuwait

Structure Type: Residential

Year Completed: 2017

Square Meters: 500 sqm

Client Direction:

When real estate company Bluebird Properties approached us to take on the Leya Villas project, we knew they were looking toward the future in more ways than one. The client, an owner of a series of rentable houses, felt their portfolio did not cater to local families. As the years had passed, they had found that they wanted to invest in a series of houses that they could not only

rent out to tenants but could also eventually move into in the future.

To satisfy this requirement, we knew we had to build something that would cater to commercial tastes while still fulfilling a more general vision of a dream home. The Leya Villas project became just that: two clusters of houses -- one plot of four, and one plot of two -- that, although technically designed to suit one particular family’s tastes, could also cater to multiple other local Kuwaiti families in the meantime. The idea was thus to create a “new” Kuwaiti house , one infused with openness and accessibility while still maintaining core local preferences of privacy

and security.

Project Plan:

  • Gradual increase in elevation from center of each villa (each level of the house incrementally adds height) to shield the garden.

  • Communal garden at center of each villa.

Project Challenges:

In a country where, unfortunately, residential areas are lacking in greenery and whose desert climate mandates that most houses be painted a neutral color, we are big proponents of the idea that, instead of opening up to the street, a house should “open internally.”

That is why when designing any residential house, one of our primary objectives is to create some form of private communal space. Whether it is a garden or a courtyard, we have found that creating a shared space promotes family life and, at the very least, gives inhabitants

something visually pleasing to look at.

The purpose of doing this is two-fold: for one, closing a building off from the street blocks noise and shields its inhabitants from a bland environment. Secondly, having an enclosed space promotes privacy, allowing family members a chance to create their own scenic view.

Looking Within:

Our goal was thus to create a communal garden that all members of the house would be able to view from different points in the building. This would encourage a sense of connectivity between each family member and, on a deeper level, allow everyone to become a part of a living narrative

bigger than themselves.

With the Leya project, this meant that each villa would have their own unique story in the form of their communal garden, which is continuously thriving and full of life (versus if the windows had

peered out onto other residential buildings, which are static and motionless).

In creating a communal garden, we ensured each family would not only feel more connected to each other, but also to the space they inhabited. Instead of looking outward, each family could

find a simple joy by looking within.

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