AGi Architects designs family house with three connecting gardens for extreme weather conditions
Kuwait and Spain-based AGi Architects has created a single-family house in Kuwait City featuring three interconnected gardens with a focus on the country’s weather conditions to be used all year round.
“We decided to stratify the external uses according to the period of the year and the hours of the day in which these activities could be developed, and accordingly we designed three gardens,” said the architects.
The first one is a Wet Garden located on the ground floor, allowing activation of related spaces during the hottest periods. The pool and some fountains are located in this garden, which is surrounded by the main social spaces of the house.
The Summer Garden stands in the coldest layer, 4 meters below street level. Protected by the soil’s thermal mass and the projected shadows of the housing volume, a large sheet of water is placed to catalyse the evapotranspiration that -through convection- rises and refreshes the air towards upper the spaces.
The third one lies on the roof, an ideal place for winter days and hot summer nights. A perforated skin covers the Winter Garden, avoiding direct solar radiation and raising the privacy of its inhabitants.
These three gardens become unified as a single outer space and are connected -visually and physically- through exterior stairs.
The rest of the home is developed around these three outdoor garden spaces.
The internal circulation of the house is linked the concept of “family” briefed by the clients.
From the main entrance, the separation of spaces and levels acts as a filter with guests; therefore, those who circulate through it are only the ones closest to the family (including service staff and workers of the house), a release by the architects explained.
The circulation inside the building -both vertical and horizontal- is conceived in a fluid way, creating multiple routes and possibilities for the inhabitants to reach the rooms in a direct way. Both interior and exterior routes offer differently qualified views and experiences.
In this sense, all “public” areas are visually connected, leaving the most private rooms more intimate and looking outwards.
Opposite to the closed volume towards the outside -emphasized by the uniform stone cladding- is the total transparency of the spaces facing the interior courtyard -covered in white ceramic tile-, which reflect the light and help to illuminate the rooms in a natural way, the release descrbed.
The same perforated skin that serves as a filter on the roof -a “deployé” metal mesh of anodized aluminum- has been used to maintain the privacy of the inhabitants from the neighbors’ eyes and to filter direct sunlight, serving as a shelter for the vegetation inside the aggressive Kuwaiti climate.
Nasser Bader Abulhasan and Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea, founders of AGi have won the Architect of the Year title in the 2015 Middle East Architect Awards, in addition to winning for categories such as Public Sector project of the Year.
The architects have also completed other residential projects in Kuwait such as the The Wall House, designed as a large shell featuring four patios which allow the inhabitants to enjoy open-air freedom in a contained internal space. The firm also designed an apartment complex with an “open core”.
One of the firm’s larger scale projects is the recently completed reinterpretation of a typical medical centre in Kuwait City, with the aim to provide visitors a positive experience.