S Cube Chalet, Bnaider, Kuwait
AGi architects

The S Cube family chalet is made up of three intertwined beach houses. The owners, two brothers and their sister, each with their own families, want to continue enjoying the same exceptional environment in which they grew up, but with complete independency and privacy from each other. For these reasons, the design of these three small houses calls for a duplicated program.

Each of the three houses enjoys an individual outdoor area that is open to the sky and extended sea views. The highly dense program in the intertwined houses is manipulated to create outdoor spaces which harvest the prevailing winds and enhance their circulation within the courtyards, allowing people to comfortably reside in them.

The building is carefully situated to protect its exposure to the sun on the southern façade, whilst increasing shaded space on the northern side to frame views out to the sea as well as create a pleasant outdoor environment. Building a new house in Kuwait with a budget lower than €900/sq m is a difficult goal. In economic terms it could be considered as a social housing standard construction, so we were forced to reformulate the typical Kuwaiti house.

The solution was to operate in the being of the house: we reduced dramatically the average built volume of a Kuwaiti house in an 80%. The three apartments have been built in a volume of 1700 m3, while most single family homes in the area are built in similar plots with an average volume of 10800 m3. This architectural surgery of the “Kuwaiti house” has been carried out by avoiding some Arabic concepts such as doubled itineraries and introducing a contemporary space definition.

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