Yousef Al-Haroun, Key elements - courtyard, shaded corridor and wind catch - define the villas

Award winning villas blend old with new

Jez Abbott
18 Dec 2018

Architect Yousef Al-Haroun has blended old with new to win a house competition.

The twin villas use Kuwait’s traditional vernacular elements to promote sustainability. Key elements - the courtyard, the liwan (shaded corridor), bagdir (wind catch), and diwaniya (traditional men’s reception) – define the villas.

The shared central courtyard references the vernacular and echoes its traditional functional role as a place for strengthening family relationships. The courtyard is enclosed from all sides except the street side to give a sense of enclosure but also to act as a symbolic link between past and present house forms. An overhanging modern mashrabiya structure above the courtyard shields the house from temperatures than can reach over 50 degrees Celsius.

The twin villas stand on two 375 square meter plots in Dahia AbdAllah AlSalem, Kuwait. Other key elements, such as a garden, waterfall, and swimming pool, are used to create a micro-climate and further reduce the outside temperature.

The design's open-plan concept means all main spatial components are left open, overlooking the courtyard. These can be adjusted when needed by the homeowner to allow for personal expression and give the owner an effective part in designing living spaces.

The World Architecture News Awards features the best in international retail design, as well as other types of current and future projects. To see the full list of winners and categories for the WAN Awards 2018, click here

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