Classical Palace Architecture
Location: Hail, Saudi Arabia
Scope of services: Architectural Design, Structural Engineering and MEP Engineering
Date: June 2019
Designed to impress, this classical palace in Hail, Saudi Arabia, is imposing but not over-embellished. The grand proportions, elegant lines and uncluttered façade give this classical palace architecture a distinct Neoclassical appearance.
Set amidst lush landscaping on a 5600m2 plot, the design takes into account its location and the customs of the local people. Separate entrances to the garden and the residence are provided for male and female occupants as is customary in Islamic culture.
The palace itself is on two levels: the lower level houses the more public spaces where the family can entertain guests, while the upper level accommodates private bedrooms.
A generous double-height front porch creates a grand first impression, setting the tone for the rest of the palatial residence. A pediment, supported on four slender columns, is decorated with sculptural bas-reliefs. Double-height windows add a sense of style to the porch elevation, maintaining the carefully planned proportions of the main entry.
Symmetry is maintained throughout the classical palace architecture in the placement of windows and terraces. Even the landscaping is symmetrically designed to emphasize the clean lines of the architecture.
The gardens that frame the palace are simple and elegant, reflecting the uncluttered look of the house. Tall, graceful palm trees frame the front entrance, mimicking the slender columns on the front porch. Statues adorn the garden, which pick up on the elegant sculptural decoration that graces the façade.
The garden is geometrically organized; these simple geometric forms are reflected in the architecture and are a common characteristic of Neoclassical homes. Green plants, which are clipped into neat hedges, lend the formal appearance of British classical gardens. Symmetrically arranged water features flank the pathway to the front entrance, matching the grandeur of the architecture.
The house is divided into the men’s and women’s areas; these areas are separated by a grand lobby with a circular central staircase. The central staircase adds a touch of luxury to the interiors.
The men enter through the front porch into a lobby from which they can proceed to the men’s majlis or the office.
The family entrance and the women’s entrance are located on the side of the house. They enter into separate lobbies from which they can then continue to the family majlis or the ladies’ majlis.
A large dining area accessed from the central foyer can cater up to 20 people. It is ideal for family dinners or when the men of the house want to entertain their friends.
The surrounding gardens use plants with shades of green. The stark contrast between the green in the garden and the light tones of the house make the house stand out against its surroundings. Color is kept to a minimum.
The outdoor areas are designed to maximize views and provide the utmost comfort for the users. Cobblestone paving creates an old-world charm that complements the classical palace architecture. Plush outdoor furniture offers comfortable seating in the rear garden, which enjoys beautiful views of the house and swimming pool.
The rear garden is divided into zones. A fenced-off area with the women’s swimming pool provides privacy for the facility.
The piece-de-resistance of the house is the magnificent pool that hugs the house in the rear. When not in use, it provides a soothing, reflective surface that elevates the design of the entire property. The clean lines of the pool and the surrounding wooden deck increase the visual appeal of this majestic palatial residence.
The terraces that wrap the master bedroom suites on the upper level look down over this magnificent view.
Carefully designed proportions are the key to the grace and beauty of this classical palace architecture. The massive scale of the palatial home is offset by the simplicity of the landscape and the structures within it. Covered outdoor spaces sit naturally in the landscape, offering uninterrupted views. Even though the house is massive, it does not impose on the landscape; the swimming pool makes it appear as if the house is floating, giving it a light footprint despite its size.
This palatial home is a great example of how the characteristics of Neoclassical architecture are enhanced by its surroundings. All the design elements come together to create balance and harmony, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of this beautiful home.