As the recent tragic events in Lebanon have swept over its charming energy and resilient people, it’s important to remember to celebrate this country’s beauty and diversity.
One place that inspires much-needed serenity and tranquility is Villa Chams, a fantastic project made by no other but Carl Gerges and his studio, who you might know from the successful band called Mashrou’Leila.
Not only is the villa breathtaking, but a lot of its identity is taken over by its location, as it can be found in one of the aridest and most historically rich places of Lebanon, in Baalbek. Chams presents itself like a mirage, almost like it wasn’t man-made, transporting you in a place of safety and calmness.
Baalbek, Lebanon, is the site of one of the most mysterious ruins of the Roman Empire, a monumental 2000-year-old temple to Jupiter that sits atop three thousand-ton stone blocks. No wonder the villa is reminiscing of a temple, blending in with the nature, the rocks and the view of the distant mountains.
Carl Gerges Architects aims with each project to preserve the surrounding environmental and historical aspects, managing to create balance, so opposite to the brutal ways some urban buildings take over nature.
The pool is a piece of jewelry on its own, as the water flows through the concrete columns of the building.
The rooms include elements like stone and concrete, with light peeking through the roof, over the greenery. are naturally furnished with poured earth concrete walls, stone, light and layers of view, emitting an earthy sensorial balance.
There is a room that is a level lower into the ground, considered the music and reading room, which offers a great view of the outdoors. Even though it’s very spacious, it still succeeds to give you a cozy feel.
The bathroom keeps the same vibes of intimacy, with floor to ceiling rock.
The seasonal nature of Baalabek has had an important impact on the design of this project. Hot days can be enjoyed in shaded areas, by the pool, walking on the cooling gravel. Those special chilly nights can be spent also in the pool, as it has a heating function, or by the relaxing fireplace.
It is safe to say that this house is meant to make you feel one with nature, basking in the glorious sun.
Photos courtesy of Carl Gerges Architects. For more information on the studio’s work, check out the official page.