House with a Pyramid’s View
Shahira Fahmy Architects
The site is at an altitude of 70m overlooking the Giza plateau of the three pyramids, which lie at an altitude of 30m. Originally the site with its hard and rocky earth was used for extraction of white stones called pharaonic stones, which were widely utilized for wall bearing and façade cladding. Three kinds of materials are used in this house; the white stone with a rough texture, dehara paste (extracted from palm trees), and glass.
The basic concept of the house organizes it into two volumes, intersecting at different points to become shared public spaces. Formally, the spatial interplay of the interior creates four loosely defined quadrants: the formal living space for social events located on the upper floor to secure a vista to the incredible view; the indoor pool and related activities on the ground level; the family room, kitchen and bathroom on the ground level to connect with the garden; and finally the three bedrooms on the upper floor.
The volumes have diametrically opposed relations to the ground with one rooting itself to the earth, and facing the surrounding palm tree groves, and the other detaching itself towards a better view of the pyramids while leaving room underneath for a covered terrace space and indoor pool.A ramp connects the entrance lobby to the formal living space on the upper floor. The bathroom, kitchen, and family room are clustered in the right wing (horizontal axis) of the house on the ground floor, leaving the indoor pool and related activities on the left part (vertical axis) of the house. The resulting internal split generates its own brand of view-orientated efficiency.
Walls, floors, and roofs are inseparable entities, through the volumetric transition from horizontal to vertical and vice versa, a continuous plate is formed combining the house’s different activities into one structure; work, social life, family life and individual time all find their place in this composition.
Location: Giza, Cairo, Egypt
Principle Designer:ShahiraFahmy Architects
Site Area: 906 sqm
Built-Up Area (excluding basement): 612 sqm
Built-Up Area (including basement): 837 sqm
Images and content courtesy of Shahira H. Fahmy architects