Our design incorporated a semi-solid outward-facing façade with more transparent, open façades facing internal courtyards. Sliding timber mashrabiya-style shading devices are utilised on each outward-looking façade to minimise solar gain during the day time, allowing cooling breezes to enter the rooms at night and provide privacy to the internal rooms.
Where views are paramount, especially looking out over the Fanadir Bay, glazing has been used to maximise these views. However, glazing is always under overhangs or used with timber mashrabiya to shade from solar gain. Elsewhere, glazing is kept to a minimum and rooms are primarily lit by the courtyards. The internal/external landscaped courtyards allow bounced light to penetrate the centres of the deep-length plans.
The narrow internal courtyards that penetrate the building provide spaces for cool air layers to collect during the night. This filters through the carved wood latticework walls, helping to cool the inner rooms. Each pool penetrates the building, supplementing the cooling effect through evaporation and allowing the residents to swim in areas of shade
The material palette is simple and responsive to the local context with a number of techniques being employed to create a balance between solar gain, privacy, aesthetic appearance and cost. The bulk of the building is made from white concrete which has been chosen for its thermal mass properties as well as contemporary aesthetic appearance.