Eco Villa 1
The Eco Villa project has been commissioned by The Gulf Organization for Research and Development [GORD] in The State of Qatar.
The purpose of the Villa is to provide a prototype sustainable home for a Qatari family whilst also giving GORD a research platform to test and improve the Villas performance over a period of time.
Carbon emissions in the Middle East have doubled in the past 30 years. Qatar produces 55.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person, which is the highest carbon footprint in the world, ten times higher than the global average.
As such, the Eco Villa offers an effective solution in providing sustainable homes for Qatari’s. Key to the villa's success will be the ability of any particular scheme to be both sustainable and attractive to the Qatari public.
Whilst we understand that an Eco Villa can imply a radical approach to design for example taking on biomimetic forms, we believe that the construction industry in not yet able to support mass housing using such techniques.
We believe also that the Villa will only truly be welcomed by Qataris if it responds to Qatari lifestyles and incorporates local cultural practices. The villa must therefore engage with Qatari’s rather than appear as an imposition.
For this reason we propose architectural forms which can be understood by Qataris because they have been based on traditional Qatari housing typologies. The Villas are also highly flexible and adaptable spaces capable of providing a home for different family structures and responding to the values of Qatari culture and heritage.
The scheme is laid out horizontally with the site divided into small scale spaces interspaced by courtyards in way similar to the traditional Qatari.
The family space which accommodates also a guest room and female majilis is located in the main two story volume in the centre of the site with the male majilis placed at the front of the site.
This layout permits the separation of male visitors from family members, and service functions. The layout also ensures that small and manageable microclimates or garden spaces are distributed across and in-between the functional program. This approach also permits the introduction of diffused daylight through ‘iwan’ spaces around the perimeter of the villa.
The entrance area to the house from the streetside elevation givesaccess to a formal courtyard which serves the male majilis. The courtyard also provides access to the family area and female majilis at first floor level.
A separate courtyard accommodates a service entrance to one side which leads to the centrally placed kitchen area and maid accommodation.
The male majilis is on two levels with the upper portion linked to the female majilis by a shared terrace. It is envisaged that the terrace will be covered by a soft canopy, thereby allowing male and female majils to form one space.
The family volume also contains a guest room at ground level and extensive living and dining spaces facing a rear garden and side courtyard space. The ground level family dining area can be connected to the male majilis and dining area by a sliding screen.
An additional spare room – perhaps used as a games room, additional female majilis or additional guest room is located at the rear of the house close to the pool area. The upper level of the house accommodates three large bedrooms, one of which will be the master bedroom.
The structural system is based on a prefabricated concrete frame, which ensures that walls which form the building envelop as well as internal partition walls are non-loadbearing and removable. The precast system means that floors too can be removed or adjusted to meet the specific requirements of the end user. This could allow double height spaces to be created in the family area if required by the end user.