The baseline idea followed by Vladimir Djurovic when designing this residence with private spa located south of Beirut was to ensure it fitted seamlessly into its Mediterranean setting. Initially planned just as a family spa, relaxation and entertainment facility, the project was broadened during execution into a full-fledged residence and office.
Nestled in the hills amidst luxuriant vegetation, the house and swimming pool – the latter set into giant rocks - overlook the sea to the west. The volume follows the natural gradient. A windowless ground-floor wall against the hillside contrasts with the seaward façade where wide glazed openings create a continuum between interior and exterior. Infills are clad in local stone while a system of wooden outer slats provides sun-shading and privacy. If necessary, the wooden louvers can be closed completely to seclude the whole façade.
The living and dining rooms and kitchen all give on to the swimming pool. Each area opens out onto a small court, giving the frontage a pleasingly irregular appearance. Service areas are located towards the back of the house while the office is contained in the southern extension.
The upper floor has an independent entrance and is comprised of two plaster-coated volumes, each a separate residence. Sliding doors open onto wide terraces offering sweeping views of the Mediterranean. Again, the elevations are shielded by sturdy wooden sun-shading slats.
A diagonally positioned corridor links residence and spa. Here huge rocks excavated from the site clad the exterior walls and continue inside to create a cave-like atmosphere.
The interior walls, cabinets, bar and made-to-measure furniture, as well as certain exterior components, are all made from recuperated Lebanon cedar whose delicate perfume pervades the spa area. Cross-cut travertine stone covers the flooring and walls of all wet areas. An indoor Jacuzzi pool is succeeded, outside, by the swimming pool. This latter is slightly raised and detached from its rock walls to amplify the mirror effect and blur the dividing line between the spa area and the surrounding gardens.
A glazed partition separates the lounge area from a gym on the same level, while the sauna and massage rooms are set in staggered fashion to follow the sloping terrain.