Location  Riyadh, KSA
Category  Residential
Accent DG  Architectural design
Lead Architect  Elie Abs
Project Team  Natalie Abou Reslan, Aline Fadous, Jad Fenergi, Reem Itani, Charbel Karam, Luana Mahfouz, Shant Meguerditchian, Petia Ratzov
Area  11, 775 sqm
Materials  Stone, aluminum louvers, paint


20 Villas

Situated in the heart of Riyadh, 20 villas is a residential complex that brings contemporary urban living to the city’s diverse inhabitants. The challenge was to create a residential block, 7000 sqm, consisting of 20 independent, tailor designed villas belonging to a whole, yet avoiding redundancy and monotony. These villas vary in size, volumetric treatment and spacial organization. Taking the grid of the city, the project is derived as an urban experiment whereby a re-adaptation of the introverted and linear plan is superimposed on the local grid.

4 types of villas have been conceived varying in size and organizational plan, each tailored to the local culture, needs, spacial requirements and pattern of habitation.  These types range in size from 569 to 668 sqm. Type 1 & 3 are a re-adaptation of the introverted plan. The functions are arranged in a U-shaped manner, creating a courtyard at its center. This space acts as a transitional zone and natural screening between the private areas, family quarters, and the public areas, guest quarters.  The absorption of the garden at the core of the plan at all levels impacts the volume as a whole.

Since types 2 & 4 are attached villas, a different design strategy was adopted. The public and private quarters were aligned in a parallel manner in the most basic of plans, the linear plan. The linearity provided each space with open ended communication with the context and complete independency from the other quarter. The circulation was placed at the meeting point between the private and public areas. The linearity was maintained in the volumetric construction to enhance the dialogue between these two urban experiments.

The facades are designed each with a unique proportion and treatment, giving the client the sense of independency from the similar villas, yet contributing to the wholeness of the project.  The relationship of the plan to the volume is evident in elevation, yet the singularity of each villa breaks the monotony other conventional projects have unintentionally acquired. Louvers were utilized on the street façade to provide privacy, heat screening, enclosure to the street and a stronger human scale.