The project is an interior design make-over of an apartment with a garden and terrace in Gemmayzeh, Beirut.
Our design strategy aims to transform the space into a Living Home that embodies characteristics of biophilic design by which the natural features and processes are integrated in the design of the built space. To materialize these aspects, several sustainable practices are adopted during construction and operation of the home, such as a gray water treatment plant, a construction-waste management plan, recycling and composting, domestic solar water heater, and under floor heating and cooling system. With a focus on healthy indoor air quality, the indoor material such as, paint, glass and insulation are certified, red list free and zero/low-VOC emitting materials. Wood is FSC-certified and Formaldehyde-free. The garden is landscaped with native species to attract local biodiversity and urban pollinators, urban farming to sustain part of the home’s needs, and uses a smart drip irrigation system linked to our recycled water.
The overall design intends on demystifying the notion of sustainability and its application in indoor spaces such as apartments. The sustainability practices are well exposed and their systems communicated to the public (residents and visitors). By these means, the home performs like a healthy ecosystem with determined ecological performance standards.
Nature is the MENTOR and the SOURCE that breathes LIFE into SPACE.
The Living Home is ACTIVE: it rises above the confinement of a conventional household. It is not static; it grows like humans and all other living organisms in Nature. The home adopts one of Nature’s important traits and creates conditions for LIFE.
The Living Home is PRODUCTIVE: it connects back to Nature’s realm, where natural elements thrive to sustain a healthy and agreeable living. By adopting LIFE’s principles, the house grows in symbiosis with nature around it.
The Living Home aims to become as RESILIENT and GENEROUS as the Oak tree which withstands the test of time as well as it bears LIFE within its leaves and branches. A well expanded habitat of birds, insects and living organisms develops within it.
The Living Home provides a LEARNING experience as it advances the use of natural and technological products within the house for the sake of a more healthy and sustainable living.
Above the city’s skyline, rises the Mighty Oak Tree. One of the very few remaining Oak and Gemmez trees, from which the neighborhood’s name Gemmayzeh comes from, supports a whole ecosystem.
Going down the alleyway, one can find the Mighty Oak tree perched on an elevated block. One can learn plenty from the evergreen tree that is filled with many sources of Life. The branches are supporting birds’ nests, the leaves are filtering the air from unwanted bodies, the roots are holding onto every drop of water that comes across their way and the whole ecosystem benefits from its generosity.