Architecture Residential design Rural architecture

PARALX designs private retreat in Lebanese mountains inspired by its rugged surroundings and nearby bridge

October 4, 2020

This private residence in Faraya, Lebanon does not subscribe to the traditional “swiss chalet” profile of most homes in the area, an approach that is in line with the PARALX design approach to always question typologies, and Y Chalet. Instead, it draws from the local topography to enhance views of the adjacent mountains, mimicking the natural plateau upon which the house sits. The 650m2 Y Chalet is located between the ski villages of Mzaar and Faqra. Inspired by the surrounding rugged environment and the nearby natural Faqra bridge, its monolithic form is clad with roughly textured agglomerate tiles that are manufactured locally. The white stone wrapping the polyhedron gives the house the appearance of blending into the snow in winter and standing out in the summer.

The building envelope is punctuated by a series of strategically placed windows and expansive glass that effectively projects vistas into the house and brings the outdoors in. A basement level houses a car park, utilities, and ample storage space for skis and mountain bikes; and two floors above grade host living and recreation space.

The interior of the house is designed around the living room’s dual orientation to the north and south with continuous sliding glass. When both elevations are open during the summer, and a prevailing northern wind is blowing across the valley, space is naturally cooled and ventilated. Beyond the wide sliding windows, the front garden and grassy backyard further blurs the line between indoor and outdoor delineation. During winter, a large skylight oriented southward brings in sun exposure and helps warm the interior.

On the second level, a sky bridge connects a children’s bedroom to the parents’ private space and doubles as a reading area for both adults and children. The adult’s room on the northern side of the house also features a wide, movable glass exterior wall. Though used primarily as a ski house, Y Chalet is also a pleasant summer home. People often escape the hot and humid coast in favor of the cooler mountain climate – Y Chalet is just 30 miles from the capital city of Beirut. In the summer, the owners of Y Chalet can enjoy biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities in the mountains.

Project details
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, MIRAGE, Hunter Douglas, McNeel, Schuco
Lead Architects: Karim Moussawer, Renati Mhanna
Design Team: Nermin Halaseh, Joanne Choueiri
Clients: Nicole & Salah Yamout
Engineering: Rodolphe Mattar, Structural/ Kamal Sioufi MEP;
Landscape: PARALX

See the full image gallery here:

Photos: Bahaa Ghoussainy

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