This house in Al Wakrah [QATAR] negotiates the tenuous evenness of the sand and the sea.
The conceptual approach is based on a conversation with the client which took place at the site in 2009, on a May afternoon. The vast piece of land has been part of his family for five generations, and he remember the arm of sand protruding from the site having a different shape every week he visited throughout his childhood.
Architect: Antonio Di Oronzo
Country: United States
We made the observation that both the sand and the sea are involved in a dialogue with no apparent script… a dialogue that negotiates a shifting threshold in the shoreline. The sky and the weather participate in a sectional presence through vertical forces. This fluid interaction of horizontal and vertical forces is the generator of apparently minute form adjustments, thinned, elongated by the large dimensions of the site. The scale of the site stretches the timeline and makes these form adjustments asymptomatic.
The house participates in this natural dance of forces in a slender arrangement of three elongated elements. The two bigger volumes ostensibly shift/rotate/move around a hinge-like connection, as they respond to both horizontal and vertical site forces [shifting sand and weather]. The diving board/porch seems instead to be peeling off the volume to which it is attached, as if the inward-outward movement of the sea were pulling it to itself. All three elements behave as trusses spanning two concrete pods. Air can flow underneath the house and contribute to its cooling. The wind mills are perpendicular to the prevailing winds, and make this house energy independent. Also, there is no air-conditioning system installed, as the operable glazing system allows for cross ventilation through the short dimension of the house. Further, the closeness of the volumes naturally creates an acceleration of the air all around the inhabited elements. The front porch offers a ramp to reach the diving board atop. The swimming pool is filled with rain water collected overtime.