Alhumaidhi Architects | Projects | Kuwait | Slice Villa

Client Direction

 

To a certain extent, most building designs are a response to the sites they are built on, and Slice House could not be a better example of this. Upon first glance, the shape of the house appears rather dramatic, looking quite literally like a “slice” of cake: triangular in shape, the house progressively gets narrower until you reach the “tip.”

 

When the client, a family comprised of two parents and one son in college, approached us, we quickly learned their needs could be split into three main themes:

 

One, we knew they were looking to build a house that would not only serve them immediately, but would also serve their son’s future needs. The client wanted to ensure a portion of the house was fully dedicated to the son and his future family, with its own separate entrance and living quarters. The challenge was thus: how could we create a coherent, connected house that could serve the family in the meantime, but could also be metaphorically “split” into two parts?

 

Two, the family had privacy concerns due to the villa’s location — and rightly so. Slice House is located in a crowded residential area, smack dab in between two villas and with more neighboring houses toward the back.

 

Three, while the client requested that the villa to be predominantly modern and contemporary, the family also wanted to add local, cultural elements to the villa.

Project Plan

Residential villa that, while maintaining the look and feel of one coherent home, can also easily be split into two parts: the family’s larger portion of the house, and the son’s smaller portion

Son’s portion of the house to be smaller yet still livable, with his own bedroom, reception/diwaniya area, and kitchen

High ceilings

Maximized pool & garden space with access to sunlight

Local design elements while still ensuring an overall modern feel

Growing Families

Growing families are a common theme, with more families realizing the importance of having living quarters their children could use one day for their families, albeit temporarily. We wanted design a family villa with two separate quarters that still come together as one coherent house. In designing a triangular house that would progressively get narrower towards the tip, we knew we could split the house into a larger component for the parents, and a smaller quarters for the son.

In allowing for a large opening near the center of the house, we effectively separated the villa into two portions, each with their own entrance. Hence, the larger family’s quarters would incorporate two kitchens and a reception area on the ground floor, the master bedroom on the first floor, and the nanny’s quarters on the third floor. Although smaller in size, the son’s portion, located in the “tip” of the villa, would still house a reception/diwaniya area and bedroom, and function as a miniature version of the rest of the house.

 

Effectively, everything the son could possibly need from a living space is aligned vertically in the tip of the house, allowing for a metaphorical “breaking away” from the rest of the house, while still maintaining that overall      connection.

Privacy

To solve this issue, we recommended tilting the house’s location ever so slightly. In angling the house slightly, we managed to maximize privacy from all sides, ensuring that any onlookers would not be able to look directly into the house. For additional shading, we also recommended the addition of a privacy screen at the front tip of the house, conceptually wrapping the house into itself.

Cultural Elements

To add the local, cultural touch the client had asked for, we incorporated cultural elements such as arches and arabesque patterns in strategic areas, ensuring the overall theme of the house still felt modern and contemporary.

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