Situated in the heart of Riyadh, 12 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 12 independent, tailor-designed villas belonging to a whole, yet avoiding redundancy and monotony. These villas vary in volumetric iteration, yet respond to a similar logic of spatial organization. Taking the grid of the city, the project is derived as an urban experiment.
Three different residential typologies have been conceived. Each varies in volumetric manipulation and spatial organization, yet respond to similar parameters: the local culture, inhabitants’ needs, and spatial requirements dictated by the pattern of habitation. These types range in size from 535 to 580 sqm, over 3 floors and a basement.
The volumetric iteration was a result of a clear strategy to identify & relate to the programmatic organization. A grid corresponding to the linear plan configuration was superimposed on the façade. This grid was then manipulated, with push/ pull forces responding to the variation in plan and function. The result is a dialogue between numerous volumetric pixels translating their various functions, yet coming together as a whole by one common language.
The manipulation of the grid, with its non-monotonous rationale, generates the “Tetris” effect experienced along the street, breaking from the conventional, unintentionally acquired redundancy of its neighboring projects.
The contextuality of the project was similarly translated in the use of material. Local Riyadh stone act as the envelope to these pixels, offering high weather resistance. Perforated panels were introduced to provide privacy, heat screening, enclosure from the street, further emphasizing the human scale, all while reinforcing the identity of this residential community.