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Lebanon's Villa Kali mansion shines at the Mounsef beachfront

by Phoebe Liu on Nov 21, 2017 in Architecture , Interiors
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Villa Kali’s overlapping levels are inspired by the nearby rock formations, while the overall design refers to the layout of traditional Lebanese homes, where rooms are grouped around a courtyard (Photo. Nadim Asfar)

Villa Kali’s overlapping levels are inspired by the nearby rock formations, while the overall design refers to the layout of traditional Lebanese homes, where rooms are grouped around a courtyard (Photo. Nadim Asfar)

Set on the beautiful Lebanese coastline at Mounsef, Villa Kali makes the most of its stunning beachfront location by maximising sight lines to the ocean

Designed by Blankpage Architects and Karim Nader Studio, Villa Kali is set on the coast of Lebanon in the town of Mounsef, just north of
Beirut. The site, with its sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, is close to the historic seaport city of Byblos, with its twin claims of being one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world and one of the most ancient Phoenician cities.

The extensive lounge can be opened to the elements by means of sliding glass doors

The extensive lounge can be opened to the elements by means of sliding glass doors (Photo. Marwan Harmouche)

The architects dedicated nearly four years to completing this upscale beachfront mansion project. They designed every single detail of the villa, which reinterprets a variety of the site's environmental aspects – the sunshine, the air, the rock formations of the coastline on which it sits – to embrace the sea and the sound of waves crashing endlessly onto the shore.

"The process of designing, constructing and inhabiting the house was exciting for us all: architects and owners," says architect Karim Nader, founder of Karim Nader Studio. "As designers, we responded to our clients' request for a lightfilled beach house that would be spacious enough to accommodate large parties and gatherings. We experimented [with] a surprising interplay of interior and exterior space, taking full advantage of the site and topography. Theresidents very much enjoyed following the entire homebuilding process and are now taking full advantage of their elegant yet exuberant home, built for entertaining large groups of friends."

A suspended terrace above the ground floor facilitates movement between the two wings of the house

A suspended terrace above the ground floor facilitates movement between the two wings of the house

The house, inspired by the nearby rock formations in its composition of overlapping levels, refers to the layout of traditional Lebanese homes where rooms are grouped around a courtyard. The courtyard here opens up completely towards the sea, the two side volumes set at an angle that allows them to embrace as wide a horizon as possible, nature flowing through them.

In this sense, the topography and the rock formations of the coastline continue within the house; the sea itself is very much part of this residence as its stratified architectural elements are open to the ocean breeze.

Villa Kali has an area of 2,000sqm and consists of two volumes around a courtyard opening towards the sea

Villa Kali has an area of 2,000sqm and consists of two volumes around a courtyard opening towards the sea (Photo. Marwan Harmouche)

"The most important lifestyle components of the villa, which are elevated to the major organising features in the project, are the terrace pool and the courtyard," says architect Patrick Mezher, co-founder of Blankpage. "One continuous glass wall, spanning over 10m, connects the reception area with the pool, the beach, the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. The courtyard brings in additional light to the gym on the ground floor."

This is an excerpt from the “Elemental Language" article from the November 2017 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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