This sleek and modern home is centered around the greenery of Fatqa, a village six kilometers off the capital of Beirut. Prioritizing its connection to its surroundings, House K is a private sanctuary built on a 780 square meter plot. The site, which is located in a dead end in an alleyway, originally consisted of six one meter high terraces.
The architectural firm Alphonse Kai Architects, drew inspiration from the lush topography of the site, utilizing authentic local stonewalls to highlight the place’s natural beauty. Through the careful construction and materiality of these walls, House K becomes a seamless continuation of the existing topography. To achieve this continuous visual effect, two concrete slabs were created to inhabit and cap the wall.
The architects wanted to highlight their respect for context and vernacular architecture. To start, they used indigenous stones of the land to reimagine a vernacular conception of material choice. Their intent to preserve this inherited character called for the use of technology to aid the reuse of the local stone.
In order to remove all traces of its architectural impact, House K’s “only marks remain the two slabs with reversed beams in cascade”. The first extends into an outdoor veranda for the main area while the other nests the pool.
Honoring traditional Lebanese familial ties, the architects highlighted a smooth relation to the owners’ parents’ adjacent house. This connection, which also serves for practical accessibility, continues to the ground floor and becomes a highly utilized space of House K. The entry features a welcoming aura with its spacious and luxurious entrance porch. The effect is a central open space/ inner patio surrounded by adjacent bedrooms, the study and the service areas.
This layout is a reinterpretation of the traditional Lebanese courtyard in which the particularity mimics the Lebanese traditional central hall house. Through this, House K reinvents and brings a fresh twist to a classic and traditional typology.
The reception area and main kitchen rest at the upper level and extend into a backyard and a main garden to ensure that natural ventilation and lighting flow into the interior spaces. The visual and spatial transparency is highlighted through this design gesture. House K’s most defining feature are its two cantilever roofs. The two roofs serve to delineate private and public spaces and contour the two floors that compose the House K.
Strategically designed, the two roofs likewise control the natural light within the sleeping areas and social spaces. Facing the Southeast, the facade also makes the house conducive for a solar home and as the architects themselves say, epitomizes “the prototype of an updated shelter where sustainability, fluidity, and integration translate the renowned philosophy: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.