Andalusian Villa Design
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Scope of Services: Architectural, Engineering design
Date: June 2020
Architectural style is invariably influenced by the different cultures and religious inclinations of the people who inhabit the region. Reflecting a mosaic of people from various ethnic and religions backgrounds, Andalusian architecture has a unique style. Heavily influenced by the Muslim era of rule, Andalusian architecture also has hints of Roman architecture and Mediterranean character. The resulting style is exotic and beautiful.
The amalgamation of styles can be seen in this Andalusian villa design located in the Al Yasmin region of Riyadh. Pointed arches and decorative elements are inspired by the Islamic influence of the region, while lush landscaping and colored mosaic and ceramic tiles take inspiration from the sunny Mediterranean. These styles fuse together to create an elevation that is elegant and visually appealing, making it stand apart from other houses.
The south elevation facing the street is elegantly proportioned with a series of gently pointed arched windows in the master bedroom on the upper level. A black stone plinth grounds the entire house, connecting it with the earth.
Due to the harsh weather of the region, modern materials and technology have been effectively used for this sustainable Andalusian villa design. The dark aluminum-framed windows are clad with PVC on the bottom to replicate a wood effect. The PVC will last much longer than traditional wood because it weathers better in the summer heat.
This wood-like detailing is replicated on the compound wall elevation to emphasize all the entrances to the property, creating a pleasing contrast with the white-painted exterior plaster finishes.
Recessed arches are repeated in bays in the compound wall design, using glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GRC), which has been molded to create intricate Andalusian motifs that add traditional ornamentation to the elevations. GRC is stronger, more durable, and more sustainable than its traditional precast concrete counterpart, making it more resistant to stress, bending, and changes in weather conditions.
As is typical of traditional Andalusian urban homes, the house is designed around an internal courtyard that provides shade and privacy for the family. Beautifully furnished with a pool and lush landscaping, the courtyard is an oasis where the family can enjoy outdoor time in a warm and inviting space. In true Mediterranean style, turquoise mosaic tiles give the pool a more natural appearance, like that of a water feature you might stumble upon in nature.
Landscaped with palms and citrus trees, the garden is symbolic of a desert oasis with a Mediterranean charm to it. The planting is kept simple so as to complement the detailing and intricate lines of the house. Gray porcelain tiled flooring around the pool and house maintain the simplicity of the exterior landscaping and offset the light colors on the house elevation.
The pool is flanked on either side by the men’s and women’s majlis with windows offering a view of the lovely courtyard. These windows emphasize the connection between indoor and outdoor space. At the center, double-height windows bathe the living space on the ground floor and upper levels with natural light, allowing views across the serene pool to the surrounding landscape. The windows are recessed into the pointed arches, adding interesting shade patterns and depth to the elevations. The master bedroom has a cozy, private balcony, finished in the same gray porcelain tiles as the paving around the pool, which overlooks the internal courtyard.
The decorative Andalusian motifs molded from GRC that are present on the exterior elevation are mirrored on the interior elevations as well to maintain continuity in the design.
The u-shape design centered around the courtyard allows all the major rooms in the house to have exterior windows, allowing all the living spaces to enjoy the benefits of natural light.
At night, the house is brought alive by the subtle exterior lighting that adds a magical touch to the exterior elevations.
Classical lanterns mounted on the external façade give the house an old-world charm. These are combined with modern flush-mounted spotlights that bring the intricate detailing into sharp focus.
The GRC detailing is complemented by the exterior wall cornice moldings that balance the openings and define the different parts of the house. These also add a Romanesque flavor to the home by reminding us of the homes of old Roman noblemen. The molded architraves and column-like vertical elements are also reminiscent of Roman architecture and give this home a stately look.
The PVS wooden elements give the house a Spanish-Mediterranean touch and create a pleasing contrast with the light-colored walls.
The marble surrounds for the pointed arches add a touch of luxury and create textural variation to the adjacent painted plaster.
All these elements are carefully blended together to create a visually balanced home that embodies all the unique elegance of an Andalusian home.
This Andalusian villa design is a three-story structure with a ribbed-slab floor system for added rigidity, reinforced concrete beams, and concrete pad footings. Although GRC is comparable in density to traditional concrete, the panels are much thinner than traditional precast concrete panels, making them easy to install and greatly reducing the foundational requirements. The use of GRC for ornamental detailing contributes to greater structural efficiency due to the light weight of this composite material.
All structural components were subjected to real-time load and weather analysis to ensure longevity of the design.
CAS also produced the MEP design including HVAC, electrical and low current, and plumbing and water supply drawings.
This Andalusian villa design draws from the rich heritage of Spain, combining historical inspiration with contextual design considerations to create a home that is exotic and aesthetically pleasing. The creative placement of main living spaces allows natural light to filter through the home, creating a sense of warmth and well-being. The landscaping complements the house perfectly with its effective simplicity and forges a connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces.