Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya

ERESTA HOUSE

Platau

CONTRACTING
Design/build

AREA
300 m²

PHOTOGRAPHS
Wissam Chaaya

ARCHITECTS
Platau

CATEGORY
Houses

LOCATION
Lebanon

YEAR
2021

STRUCTURAL DESIGN
Elie Turk

MANUFACTURERS
Duravit, Blatt Chaaya, Sidem

LANDSCAPE
Abou Jaoude Landscape

LEAD ARCHITECT
Sandra Frem

The architecture of Eresta House emerges from paradoxical limitations.Set in the breath-taking landscape of Akoura and Nahr Ibrahim, the site’s immediate surroundings are ad-hoc buildings that limit its exposure to the scenery.

Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya

The glazed front is complemented by a paneling system of steel frames and wood louvers that work on shading and security when closed, and that provide uninterrupted transparency when open. 

Its angle allows for positioning the house in such a way that the front is open to the valley view whereas the other sides of the house are embedded in the landscape.

Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya

The site slopes North-West towards the Nahr Ibrahim valley.

The entrance and main staircase are situated at the hinge of the V-shaped volume, topped by a skylight that acts as a wind chimney and triggers cross ventilation through the house.

Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya

Built on the remnants of an ancestral home that was attached by a party wall to a neighboring building, the client asked to rethink the shared party wall condition in line with a new autonomous architecture, the need for privacy and at the same time exposure to the views, the need for security during their absence and complete transparency to the outdoors when the house is inhabited.

A V-Shaped massing reorients the house away from the adjacent context and towards the scenic sightlines, creating a lower level of living spaces that open to the front garden and the valley and an upper level of bedrooms that are open to the front and can extend to a rear courtyard, with an outlook to the cliffs above the site.

The concrete shell of the house consists of a double-layer wall with specific openings, creating a thermal mass on the South, East, and North that works on insulation and a completely glazed façade on the front which gives access to each level to balconies in dialogue with the valley view.

Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya

In contrast with the autonomous form of the concrete volume, a stone enclosure wraps the site in one continuous outline, starting and ending at the site entry point.

The massing provides self-shaded outdoor spaces that dictate cycles of use throughout the day.

Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya
Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya

A sequence of outdoor spaces deploys between the house and the stone enclosure, defining different relationships with the outside at each level.

Built with stones that were extracted during excavation works, this enclosure reconciles the different topographic levels in sloping contours and blends the project’s edges with its surroundings through its materiality.

This sequence extends to the roof of the house, culminating in a panoramic deck that overlooks the 360 degrees view.

Eresta House
© Wissam Chaaya


Eresta House
Plan 01
Eresta House
Plan 02
Eresta House
Plan 03
Eresta House
Site Plan


Eresta House
Front Elevation
Eresta House
Rear Elevation
Eresta House
Side Elevation
Eresta House
Plan Diagram


Eresta House
Rear Section
Eresta House
Stair Section
Eresta House
Transverse Section

Platau | Platform For Architecture And Urbanism
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Platau | Platform For Architecture And Urbanism
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