Dbayeh, Lot 649, Metn, Lebanon
M & K House, located in Zouk el Khrab of the northern suburbs of Beirut, formerly existed as a simple double unit, two-story building of concrete with stone cladding on its side walls. The RAA approach towards the house’s transformation included clearing the structure of unnecessary decorative elements, as well as bringing a sense of lightness and purity to the volumes. The project consisted in creating a single family home with the reception areas on the garden level, and the four bedrooms and family room on the first floor. The once-public staircase, which had served the two separate units, was interiorized. In order to better anchor the house on the site, as well as to unify indoor and outdoor areas, the garden was raised to the living room level. To further heighten harmony between interior and exterior, the living room was given large openings, which extend naturally out towards the garden area, and the same local limestone was utilized for both the indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as for the swimming pool. Changes to the building’s façade entailed replacing the old terracotta window frames by black steel edging, working to emphasize and refine the house’s geometry of pure forms. The main balcony was rebuilt using a profiled cantilevered structure to cancel any obtruding columns—a feature that reinforces the use of the roofed terrace as a living outdoor space linking garden and house. In addition, a thick steel handrail was replaced by glass, allowing for a seamless view towards the Mediterranean Sea.