Michele Zago Architetti - A villa for a large family in Oman, reinterpreting Arab traditions
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A villa for a large family in Oman, reinterpreting Arab traditions

Michele Zago Architetti

Villa  /  Future
Michele Zago Architetti

The design of a large villa is always a fascinating topic, all the more so if the architectural spaces are expected to serve a large extended family. The project is being developed in Muscat, the capital of Oman, over a very large area covering an entire block. The developer asked us to design a space that could contain, as per Arab tradition, spaces for four families: the progenitor and three daughters, as well as a guest residence, a large green space central to the houses and containing a swimming pool, recreational and meeting spaces, children's play areas, a guest area, and a clubhouse. The design approach was well-defined from the beginning: the rules that determine the architecture of the spaces were on the one hand linked to tradition, and on the other hand inspired by a vision of architecture typical of the place but revisited in a modern light. In this sense, the large villas are broken into segmented volumes that urbanistically recreate the spaces, streets, and views of historic villages; in each case every block has a different function, not only inside but also in the opposite spaces. In fact, it is an urban planning project albeit of residential architecture, in which access routes, built volumes, perimeter and fencing, green and meeting spaces, public and private areas all find their place in a planimetric grid: this was first studied according to the rigor of Middle Eastern social and cultural rules, then broken, shifted, staggered, and adapted, introducing elements of modern architecture that were so dear to the client. Three entrances provide access to different areas. The first monumental, public, and representative entrance leads to the main villa and guest residence; the second entrance leads to the three family villas, an exclusive area not involved in other visitor flows; and the third entrance leads to the clubhouse, a space mixing public and private areas and designed to include a restaurant, bar with lounge area, and informal work spaces. In keeping with tradition, the entire perimeter is enclosed by a wall, which in this project finds a breaking point with respect to the typical nature of the surroundings. In fact, the fence is segmented: both in plan and elevation, transverse partitions have been designed to divide the interior from the exterior, creating technical spaces, storage and service rooms. All maintenance can be done from the outside without having to enter the property. Inside, the project is conceived as a small town where each area has a well-defined function encompassing the social rules and customs typical of Oman. As already mentioned, the volumes of the houses have been divided: in each volume the function is defined in a fusion of architecture, urban planning and tradition. The floor plans are completed in the flow of pathways and the succession of spaces, in a continuous interplay between double heights and terraces, between green spaces and swimming pools, everything is designed in juxtaposition: seeing by concealing, representing by hiding, yet soberly manifesting past cultures and modern architecture.


 7236 mq
 Michele Zago Architetti
 Michele Zago Architetti


Michele Zago graduated in architecture from the IUAV in Venice, where he had the opportunity to work with Professors Gregotti, Aymonino, Ferlenga, and Purini. Under the guidance of Prof. Carlo Magnani, he assisted in university teaching and began his work as an architect. Based in Switzerland since 2004, he has worked with Luca Gazzaniga and Joao Nunes on developing projects, and he refined his architectural style by merging the principles of the Venetian school with the archetypes of the Swiss school. He is the founder of the architectural firm Michele Zago Architetti, which focuses on developing architecture for hotels, resorts, villas and residences. Projects with the highest international profile include The View hotel in Paradiso, the Catrina Sky Resort in Disentis, the Swiss Compound in Oman, and the Ticino Sports Academy. Michele Zago is invited to lectures and conferences at the IUAV University of Venice as well as to forums and discussion panels.


#Finalist #Stone  #Residence  #Sun Shading  #Plaster façade  #Bricks  #Oman  #Stone façade  #Michele Zago Architetti  #Muscat 

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