Can you keep a secret?

Friday 06 Jan 2012

AGi architects design a private family home full of personality in Kuwait

Kuwait's urban fabric mostly consists of detached single-family homes highlighting a clear example of city-sprawl. To adapt to the desert climate, the distances between the built volumes are minimal, resulting in shaded spaces between houses; This result in facades with little privacy and limited views. Therefore it is the challenge to create projects with personality.

Given these circumstances, the architects focus was to design a home that expressed the clients' needs, clearly marking the buffers and transitions that any guest could understand. They want the house to be felt as a resounding permeable volume that is not transparent, however friendly yet private from the street. Physical barriers can be seen in varying degrees impeding passage or vision to reach the large opening on the upper terrace that allows you to see through the house. From the inside, the barriers become the volumes that open onto the guests, the rooms that dominate the spaces on the upper levels, defining the spaces below them. The search for an understanding of the nature of an Islamic family culture living with a Western lifestyle has shaped the overlap of concepts and is reflected in the relevance of the major pieces in the facade, privacy and sun protection.

In the case of the Secret House, the client was already occupying the given site in a house that neither met their aesthetic desires, nor their programmatic needs. This design thus becomes a personal expression of their present conditions, and at the same time creates a space capable of holding their hopes for the future. It is a place with great potential, with wonderful views of the city, and a family who wants privacy. The team planned to design a system that would unify these requirements: a house that looks towards the inside and only at the top level opens up to views towards the skyline of the city.


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