An oasis of peace overlooking the Red Sea
Vincenzo Provenzano, UDG (Urban House Design)
The complex is located on the Red Sea coast in an area that has recently undergone rapid expansion following the construction of Jeddah Tower, the world’s tallest skyscraper.
It consists of four villas with a swimming pool intended to accommodate guests of a couple from Riyadh, owners of a larger villa previously designed by architect Provenzano.
These new buildings are located on a site adjacent to the main villa. «The new structures blend seamlessly into the existing context, maintaining the design of the internal and external spaces and the character and choice of materials as part of a single architectural language,» explains Provenzano.
«We took account of the direction and position of the sun during the year so as to be able to reduce the buildings’ energy consumption due to air conditioning in the summer months despite their large glazed surfaces,» continued the architect. This was achieved by choosing a suitable orientation for the large openings in the façades and screening them with sliding sunshades or deep overhangs.
Given the site’s elongated shape with the shortest side facing the sea, the architect created an artificial hill to accommodate all the technical and service rooms and positioned the two villas furthest from the sea on its summit. Provenzano continued: «I decided to locate the sleeping area on the access level and moved the daytime living area with the swimming pool and master suite upstairs to provide an undisturbed view of the sea, allowing the occupants to admire the area’s splendid sunsets without any buildings between them and the beach».
As a result, the remaining two villas close to the beach are at garden level and consist of a single floor so as not to obstruct the sea view for the buildings behind them. One of the two has even been integrated below a roof garden, which due to the natural slope connects the new complex with the raised terrace of the main villa, from where the annexes are almost invisible.
The villas are interconnected by a system of paths, walls and water features. The cladding material chosen for the swimming pools and water features was the Trace tile collection from Ceramiche Caesar, whose texture is responsible for the splendid turquoise colour of the water. It proved to be the perfect material for this application as it also guaranteed simplicity and precision of installation.
The oxidised copper effect was entirely in keeping with the natural look that was such an important part of the concept for the entire complex. The Mint version of the tile was used in sizes 60×60 cm and 30×30 cm in a staggered pattern and cut into smaller, unequal sizes to create the sense of irregularity typical of a natural material. The larger sizes were used for the steps into all four swimming pools and the horizontal tiling on all the pool walls. To emphasise the movement and sound of flowing water, the external surfaces of the walls were clad with custom 3D cuts of the Cover 30×60 cm decoration, giving the exterior spaces an artisanal appeal while maintaining an utterly modern and cosmopolitan design concept.
60x60, 30x60, 30x30 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <=0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <=145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 A
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant