A reinterpretation of a cross-vaulted house perched along the edge of the Shouf Mountains

Perched along the edge of the Shouf Mountains and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this residence sits below the shrine of the prophet Job, in the village of Niha, one of the most visited religious sites in Lebanon.

The 30mx30m residence by LEFT is a reinterpretation of the cross-vaulted houses that donned the local mountainous landscape at the turn of the century. A series of vaults, pertaining to the different residential programs, scale up both in plan and in section, in ascending slopes towards the view, and intersect with perpendicular vaults to create access points for circulation.

Akin to a prostration position, the house scale kneels at its lowest towards the shrine, and opens up at its highest towards the view.

The vaults organize the program both on the ground floor and the upper floor with the main public functions of living rooms, dining area, office, guest bedroom and kitchen on the ground floor, and sleeping quarters both on the first floor with two master bedrooms each occupying one vault and the semi-open basement level that house the children’s bedrooms.

The historic house volume is here redefined, from a normative pitched roof sitting on a box with cross vaults below, collapsing into a new geometry where the roof of the house becomes both pitched from above, vaulted from below and twisted from the sides to form the rectangular base.

Design and info © LEFT

Images © Bahaa Ghoussainy

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