Bassil Mountain Escape/Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
RESIDENTIAL DESIGN HONOR AWARD
Bassil Mountain Escape, Faqra, Lebanon
Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture, Broumana, Lebanon
client: Jimmy Bassil
"Innovative and poetic. The landscape architect brought the elements of space and beauty together to create a very restful, livable place. The project shows great poise and restraint. This designer knew exactly when to stop."— 2008 Professional Awards Jury Comments
PROJECT STATEMENT: The residence, a vacation chalet, was built completely around the concept of relaxation and entertainment. A landscape expressed through numerous spaces to cater for various events and moods in an extremely narrow and limited site. Our intentions here were not merely to provide the various spaces, but to do so in a dramatic and memorable way. A series of illusions and careful manipulations to yield the maximum sense of space and experience in the Bassil Mountain Escape.
PROJECT NARRATIVE: The challenge of this project was to provide spaces to cater for various functions and moods in an extremely narrow site. The garden was conceived almost in its entirety on the construction setback of 4.5m around the house. This limited site is designed and controlled with a series of manipulations to blur all boundaries between the site and the horizon, yielding a powerful sense of place and infinite space. The program consists of multiple sitting areas, a water mirror with a cantilevered jacuzzi underneath which an outdoor bar area is sheltered, a swimming pool, a large entertainment terrace with a long linear bench, a sitting area and fire place, as well as a BBQ zone.
At the upper level, the entrance approach is defined by a simple welcoming expression of a solid stone staircase, embedded in linear lavender-filled planters, aligned with the entire length of the house. Facing the glass dining room area, an intimate recessed sitting area shaded by a stainless steel and wood canopy, a raised water mirror, and cantilevered negative-edge Jacuzzi align to capture the breathtaking view, and shatter all boundaries and restrictions of the site. Floating stepping stones lead guests down to a bar area, consisting of solid stone and red cedar wood.
From this lower level, the negative-edge swimming pool again blurs the boundaries while framing the magnificent panorama from both the indoor lounge area and from the outdoor entertainment terrace and sitting area. The long linear bench acts as a safety balustrade and rest area for large gatherings, which becomes the back support of a built-in sitting area with fireplace for the cool Faqra evenings. A discreet BBQ zone is concealed in a wooden shelf between maple leaves. Finally, a narrow staircase embedded in the ground leads guests back up to the main entrance.
Vladimir Djurovic, International ASLA
Ste. Espace Faqra sal
Raïf Helou Engineering Group
Pierre Damous Office
Watertech Contracting sal