Architects: Studio Toggle
Project: F.LOT Elegant Minimalist House
Team: Hend Almatrouk, Gijo Paul George, Abid Naqvi, Abdul Rashid, Yahia Galal
Location: Al Bida’a, Kuwait
Project Year 2016
Courtesy of Studio Toggle
Description by architect: The F.LOT house can be described as a minimal composition of 2 seemingly floating masses intersecting at right angles. A 5m cantilever adds drama and gives the composition its unique character.
The challenge was to cater for the clients need for a clean open design at while tackling the issues of privacy and shade from the desert heat. Inspired by Donald judd’s compositions and Barragan’s work, we strived to create a composition that would shield itself from the desert sun by the virtue of its aesthetics. The form evolved from our attempts to create dramatic self-shading volumes using perpendicular intersections and cantilevers. Clean lines and use of white emphasize the purity of form.
The house features a 15m long pool which appears to float above the parking. The pool bisects the longitudinal volume which houses the main social spaces and the living quarters.The open-plan ground floor is organized on either side of the pool, which is quite clearly the focal point of the house. These spaces flow into each other connected by a bridge which is enclosed by panoramic sliding windows. The barrier free design of the ground floor is emphasized by the open kitchen and dining, with sliding-folding doors, giving unrestricted access to the landscape/deck and the pool.
The basement houses the ‘Dewaniya’ (traditional Kuwaiti gathering space for men), parking for 3 cars under the floating pool, and the staff quarters. The Dewaniya opens into a large courtyard at the basement level, covered in white pebbles, which breaks up the harsh Kuwaiti sun and lights up the basement spaces in a glow of diffused natural light.The first floor houses the private living quarters and is lit by panoramic windows on both sides. Aluminum louvers and deep recessed balconies offer effective sun-protection and mitigate the heat gain due to the large window openings.
An austere palette of white plaster, exposed concrete and white epoxy flooring gives the social spaces a sense of ethereal openness reminiscent of an art gallery. The first floor on the other hand features solid teak wood and rough-cut travertine cladding giving the living spaces a warmer texture.