LOCATION: Al-Mesayel, Kuwait
SIZE: 500 sq m
PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT: Muhannad Al-Baqshi
DESIGN TEAM: Reem Aljalal
PROJECT MANAGER: Faisal Al-Hawaj
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Hamad Hussain
CONSTRUCTION: Massive Order
PHOTOGRAPHS: Nelson Garrido
At its core, Box House II has a courtyard layout, with a living space on one side and sleeping quarter on the other side. This courtyard layout is placed in the first floor sandwiched between two other floors. The layout, then, disintegrates along a diagonal line dividing it into a large outdoor terrace and an indoor double-height common space with a prominent staircase.
A large cylindrical cut pierces through the second/third floor allowing the sunlight to penetrate into the terrace and the double-height space while delineating the functions in the upper floor. It, also, adds a dynamic sectional experience at the heart of the users’ daily routine. The sleeping quarter, the living section, the main dining space, and the daily entrance have a direct relation to this sectional experience making it the heart of this design.
The main facades of the house are composed as a single carved box. The two main facades conceal the internal logic of the plan behind large abstracted forms as to bring an element of surprise to the experience of the plan and section. This abstraction is especially legible at the middle section of the facades where the plan is introverted toward the courtyard leaving the façade clear of openings.
Box House II modernizes the courtyard house order. It takes the archetype of rooms around an open space of the courtyard layout and reintroduces it in a sectional experience that cuts through all the houses’ three floors. Then, it masks this experience with abstracted facades that leaves most of the delight to the users’ daily lives.