Sahel Al Hiyari Architects completes contemporary residence among the oak trees in Amman neighbourhood Dabouq

Situated in the growing suburb of Dabouq, just north of Amman, a single-family residence overlooks the site’s many native oak trees.

Looking to create a dialogue between the surrounding topography and the project’s architecture, the team worked with the sloping landscape and organised the plan of the house around one continuous movement, creating a rectangular shape with a centralised courtyard.

“This condition created an open external room defined on one side by the landscape and on the other by a roof,” said the architects. “Accordingly, the house complements its natural setting, with its spatial interim forming a sinuous movement with the topography. Its shape becomes a conduit for the prevailing winds that are invited to permeate the structure.”

Consisting of bush-hammered concrete for the exterior, evoking the limestone that is commonly-used in Jordan’s vernacular architecture, the home barely rises above the height of the trees that populate the surrounding hills. Seamlessly blending into its environment, the Al Saket Residence is an example of building with context.

“The design clearly invested in the potentials of the structure and its spatial dimension,” the architects said. “The attempt was to compress the structure, architecture and material as an inseparable and syntactically seamless element. The mass is therefore a unified number of integrated structural elements, which, in addition to its material qualities, adds a sculptural dimension to the general reading of the building.”

The geometric shape of the home also responds to the moderate climate of Amman, and encourages an outdoor-centric lifestyle for its end-users. The smaller and more domestic spaces of the interiors are brought back to the idea of basic shelter.

“Although the structural qualities may conceptually appear at the forefront of the design’s objectives, they
actually serve a means to address other concerns that relate to the spatial qualities of the house, its feel and its emotive impact, and ultimately its rapport with the landscape,” said the architects.

“Once the initial impression of the structure is desensitised, the focus shifts back to that which is not built,” they added. “It shifts back to the trees, light and breeze – or, in other words, to the other fundamental elements that give space its pulse.”

Read about a rural Iranian house that used a mix of sand, straw and dung for its exterior material. 

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