No place like home
To put the feet up and look out to see
The rising or the setting sun
To have dinner with the moon that has risen
No place like home
To see green change colour
To sense the seasons, pass by
To savour flower, scent and changing colours
No place like home
For morning walks and moments of solemn refection
Yet know that you are not alone
And that a friendly smile beckons just around the corner
No place like home
For a cup of tea
On the deck with butterflies and bees
Offering a moment of contentment and reflection
No place like home
For feeling the cool breeze
Hearing it pass through the peep holes of destiny
Seeing it gently moving past the Palm tree
No place like home
To be grounded in the senses
Yet be connected to the eternal bliss
A beautiful life, waiting to be lived!

The master planning of the Marissa Housing responds to the local climatic, social and sustainability needs to create a contextually appropriate architecture. The contemporary Islamic style architecture responds to the brief by providing an introverted planning that is designed around a central landscaped courtyard. The residential units are enclosing a shaded and landscaped courtyard that is optimally shaded and densely planted as an oasis amidst the city. Each of the unit has proximately positioned parking, which allows residents to park close to the house for ease.

The brief of parking, building and open space with a 33% proportion each is divided by taking the parking to the external extremities and consolidating the greens to the centre. The ground parking is divided to the four corners and the residential units are divided into four blocks around a central courtyard. The public amenities of reception, club house, amphitheatre and a children’s play area are all accommodated in this shaded landscaped courtyard. The internal courtyard is completely free of vehicular movement. The roads and parking are limited to the perimeter of the plot and in close proximity to the residential units. Additional drop off points are provided near the public lobby for ease of access for the elderly and children.

The architecture style and planning is inspired from the world heritage site, Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah. The traditional typology of shaded streets with filigree fenestration, solid masonry walls and terraces are interpreted in a contemporary planning and form. The rowshan, jail and lime wash solid whites create a contextually appropriate style that is rooted in history and reinterpreted for a contemporary aesthetic and use.

The villa typology is reinvented as a house with private courtyard, garden or terrace. The generous and double height living and dining spaces, both look into the private landscaped court with an internal staircase to the floor above. The planning of the units is such that the circulation space use is minimised and usable area maximised. Access to private landscape courts with external or lush courtyard views with voluminous living spaces creates the experience of a private villa. While this being features of units on ground floor, the units on second floor has large terraces with planting at all levels   The terraces in each unit become active during the evening or night and enhance the use experience of the house. The bedrooms are spacious with generous wardrobe space and balconies overlooking the city or the internal courtyard.

The one-bedroom unit is divided over two floors with an internal staircase to give the experience of an independent house. The balconies, terraces and courtyards are sensitively provided to ensure usability and enhanced experience. 

The following design elements are integrated into the design:
– Internal courtyard.
– Thermal insulated external walls.
– Shading screens: provide shading and filtration of lights inside the living spaces through rowshan or filigree timber fenestration.
– Double glazed windows.
– Smart system.

The landscaped courtyard, is created as a shaded and landscaped oasis offering respite and awe. The stepped open-air theatre that leads up to a water feature creates a congregational space surrounded by local flora. The trees, landscaping and the water all contribute towards creating is micro climate that is cooler, humid and has a cooling breeze. This is the heart of the project, providing space for all public and communal activities. The secluded oasis, filters the harsh external environment and creates a relief and retreat space within.


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Published by Architecture Dialogue

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