A Desert Flower: Alkhozama Desert House in Saudi Arabia by Ark-Kassam Architects

A knoll in the middle of a private Oasis palm of the Al-Riyadh Desert, has been allocated for this contemporary ‘cutting edge’ (yes I just did) concept residence designed by Ark-Kassam Architects.

The futuristic looking concept home is divided into 3 masses namely, Service Mass, Living Mass and the Night Mass that are all interconnected by a large intricate planted courtyard with pools of water. The Service Mass, as the name implies, caters to all service and mechanical spaces such the large kitchen, garage, tool room and servants quarters all arranged around a small courtyard.

The Living Mass with sunset view comprises the Living and Entertainment spaces, Dining, Bar as well as a large terrace adjacent to a planted courtyard with water pools. The Night Mass has a sunrise view befittingly for the 3 large bedrooms therein. A planted court with water pools also sits beside the family living room at the exterior end bounded by yet another large terrace.


This Massing and material usage are configured to protect against the sun and hot, dry desert climate. All 3 masses are organized in order to provide much needed shade for one another, creating different atmospheric scales between the indoor and outdoor spaces and protecting the house from extreme weather conditions. The prominent use of water pools and streams creates a passive cooling system that aids the natural cooling of the interior spaces without the use of mechanical systems while offering amenity for the home.


The terraces carry a tapering bevelled form that ensures total shading of the area further shading the interior space. Embroidered Ornament walls and Roof decorations inspired by the desert flower, Khzama Al-Shra’a, offer a beautiful and intricate design element that also functions to provides both ventilation and light. The effect of sunlight beaming through the coloured glass creates a character within the space that plays between light and shade. To further boost the efficiency and sustainability of this ‘desert flower’,  Photovoltaic panels will cater to energy and power needs while a gray water system will ensure responsible use of water, given its scarcity within the geographic context. All of this is intended to exist with the barest minimum of environmental impact on the chosen site and possibly create add to the ecological balance of the site positively impacting its immediate environment.


All images courtesy Ark-Kassam Architects

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