AGi architects will compete in the Middle East Architect Awards 2014 to achieve Residential Project of the Year Award with the single-family luxury home Nirvana House -currently under construction- against eight other shortlisted projects; Public Sector Project of the Year Award with Cardiac Research and Rehabilitation Center, also under construction, that will be competing with three other works in this same category; and, finally, Concept Design of the Year Award that could go to our ambitious project Seed House if it wins the other five finalists. In addition, our design firm will also compete for the Boutique Middle East Architecture Firm of the Year Award, being one of three finalists in this category of the current edition of these awards.
Nirvana House, a single-family luxury home as familiar meeting point
This project, competing in the Middle East Architect Awards 2014 in the Residential Project of the Year category, is a luxury house with a complicated program including service, guest and family areas (with separated circulations), and an extended recreational program with private gardens, pool, gym and spa. The client always highlighted his intention to turn the house into a meeting point for the whole extended family, so most important issues to develop were not the different functions of all areas but connections between them, controlled views and privacy.
AGi architects have designed a unique villa, where a sober exterior with terra-cotta tiling gives sophistication to a vibrating façade; a family house that fulfill all needs for an active socially relevant family, where public and private spaces are balanced and distributed in a way that completes each other without disturbing any of their coexisting users.
The project is now under construction; interior finishing and furnishing are expected to be finalised during 2015.
Healthcare architecture: Cardiac Research & Rehabilitation Center
The new Kuwait Cardiac Research and Rehabilitation Center competing in the Public Sector Project of the Year category is a heart disease specialized center. It includes testing and laboratory departments in ground floor, outpatient departments in first and second floor and there are also located inside of it a rehabilitation and a research center. The base unit of the hospital typological scheme is a module, which connects each consult room with two exam rooms, giving public access from one side and private from the other. These modules are combined with interior courtyards, which provide with natural light and ventilation to all the rooms and waiting areas, so that the doctor’s visit becomes a more familiar experience reducing patient’s stress. The building appears as a closed volume for all the façades except for the one facing the sea. The Rehabilitation center is located in this area, so that the users of gym and pool can enjoy the sight and scenery without privacy issues with the surroundings buildings.
The Cardiac Center was shortlisted for 2014 World Architecture Festival Awards, in the Future Projects Health category.
Sustainability in Seed House
This Farm, which has been nominated for Concept Design of the Year Award, was conceived as holistic response to desert inhabitation. We have a huge plot of 60,000 square meters on an area where traditional farms were settled for date’s production.
In this case we had the opportunity to build our own small sustainable city layout. After studying the place we identified the predominant winds and climate. First thing, we decided the best Landscape solution to retain dust from sand storms and to provide humidity on the dry winds so the houses would be located on safe and comfortable microclimate. We located a vegetation barrier on the North East, with middle height trees and artificial lakes, so when the wind reaches the house, temperature and dust amount will be lowered.
As a private oasis, the house is surrounded by date’s farms, where Mediterranean fruit trees are mixed on the grid and running course for the family is hidden. The limits of the plot are built by greenhouses where hydroponic vegetable farms will be settled.
We found as the best sustainable strategy that the whole house should be embedded on the terrain, so the roof will be treated as semiarid landscape and only the sunken gardens, near the water table will be irrigated. The house is covered by a landscaped roof that provides sun and wind protection. Below this roof, facing to the private courtyards, family life is developed into separated but always linked activities, as a natural biological structure would do. Only Lo-tech towers emerge from the ground holding modern cooling and chilling units, combined to traditional air convection methods looking as a mound building termite nest.
AGi architects, shortlisted for Boutique Middle East Architecture Firm of the Year Award
Finally, our design firm established in 2006 by Nasser Abulhsasan and Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea is among the three finalists for the Boutique Middle East Architecture Firm of the Year category of the Middle East Architect Awards.
This award recognizes those firms with less than 50 employees that have made the most significant impact on the GCC region through their work throughout the year. We are getting closer to reaching that number of employees because of our strengthening and continued growth over the years.
2014 Middle East Architect Awards winners will be announced in Dubai on Wednesday 19th November 2014. AGi architects received five MEAA in past editions: Residential Project of the Year 2013 for Star House, and 2012 for S Cube Chalet; Public Sector Project of 2013 for BBS Preschool; Boutique Middle East Architecture Firm of 2012; Highly Commended Principal of the Year 2012 for Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea.
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