VDLA ：The Salame Residence is situated in rugged mountainous terrain of Faqra, Lebanon, 2700m above sea-level. Our brief was to create a family holiday environment that captures the beauty of the mountain ranges beyond, provides ample opportunity for rest and relaxation, and allows for occasional social gatherings.We took inspiration from the architect’s duality of expression in granite and wood, creating two complementary relaxation and entertainment spaces, which contrasted formalism with organic, and dark, hard granite with soft green contours. Carving and elevating levels, framing and concealing views, we strove to provide a haven that floats amongst fields of clouds and mountain summits.
We extended the granite base out from the front of the residence to create the main gathering space with uncompromising views. We then enclosed the entire area with a peripheral water feature to give a safe boundary to the site and a swimming zone suspended amongst mountain peaks. The infinity edge draws a horizontal line that mirrors mountain peaks and sunsets. Two sculptural oaks complete the space. Access to showers and changing room facilities, literally carved out of the granite base, disappears down a narrow staircase within the span of water.To the rear of the house, we created a grass concave area in the hilltop to provide a safe, sunken garden for informal entertainment and relaxation with family and friends. Its expression is organic, in contrast to the formalism of the front terrace.Due to the steep nature of the site; an almost 1:1 slope gradient; the need to provide a safe, usable space with minimal impact on the natural landscape was the main challenge. We responded to temperature extremes with an extensive use of solid natural materials and high quality, detailed local craftsmanship, which also allowed us to achieve the extreme simplicity of forms we were seeking.