An architectural design in residential project by Vladimir Djurovic for private retreat in Yaafur, Syria that is known for its harsh desert climate of excessively hot days and cool nights. Located in the midst of this desert, the private retreat was a challenge to create a gathering space capable of hosting up to 300 people. This private retreat design and finished in May - November 2004 and have 15.000 Square Metre site area.
"Emanating from two majestic limestone walls, a totally self-contained, facility was conceived, one capable of hosting numerous events and functions. All required services, such as a full bar, industrial kitchen, bathrooms, showers, and changing rooms, are discretely embedded within the walls, while a striking 6m x 40m long cantilever provides shade and shelter with uninterrupted vistas of the pool and gardens.
To further combat this harsh environment, shade screens and air conditioning with cooling and heating capabilities are invisibly incorporated within the structure and delivered via discrete linear grooves. Similarly, music and lighting are incorporated invisibly, that lend to the mood of outdoor gatherings.
In the axe of the main residence, framing all the living spaces, the swimming pool is conceived as the heartbeat of the project. A travertine stone basin, brimming with water, becomes the backdrop and the mesmerizing element of all the gatherings and events. In this pure elliptical form, massive travertine slabs were laid side by side, then hand-carved to produce this seamless and elegant form that gently slopes to produce a natural beach descent, an aqua lounge, and then warps to become a suspended bench and Jacuzzi that wraps around the pool.
* Text: Courtesy the architect
* Photographs: Geraldine Bruneel; Copyright, Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture.