Wadi Abou Jamil Penthouse


Located in Wadi Abou Jamil at the western periphery of Beirut’s city center, the design of this sumptuous 1,200-square-meter penthouse was primarily driven by the desire to create airy spaces uniting comfort and a minimalist feel, while simultaneously embracing the home’s superb geographic location by taking full advantage of its breathtaking peripheral views.

The main entrance of the residence opens up onto a vast living space accommodating a TV area, a formal reception space, as well as the dining room. Fully-glazed and unpartitioned, this area enjoys a wealth of natural light and floor-to-ceiling views of the sea, city and Mount Lebanon. Sliding the glazed panels open allows for the extension of the space to the exterior, merging it with a terrace tastefully landscaped by landscape architect Mohammad Halawi, and featuring a spectacular bar open on three orientations. Stretching along the northern periphery, the far-end of the bar morphs into the steps used to access the swimming pool, where one can soak over the city with unobstructed vistas of the Mediterranean and mountains in the distance.

The duality of light and dark takes center stage in this family home, as playful black tonalities contrast with serene whites and creams. The oversized limestone tiles and whitewashed walls set the backdrop for the darker varying textures used to animate the different elements of the house, while hints of color make appearances here and there.

At the entrance, one is greeted with majestic charcoal slate columns, one of which is carved with an open fireplace. Black back-painted mirrored walls and dark granite tiling distinguish the dining room as an independent island amidst the otherwise white space. A passage to the private quarters is delineated with the use of the same granite, along which matt black textured wood doors stand tall.

The purity of the spacious kitchen is evident in the clean lines of its floating island counters and the smooth texture of its flush lacquered cabinetry, which jointly conceal all utilities.

Simultaneously exposed to the interior main space as well as the exterior terrace, a fitness corner outlined with white pebbles can be completely merged with its surroundings by sliding its glass partitions open. Its white Corian-paneled back wall echoes the wave-like texture of the black entrance doors, subtly lit at the joints.

In the master bedroom, black stained oak flooring defines the sleeping quarters, whereas white resin tiles line the dressing room floors. An open fireplace separating the two areas offers stolen glimpses between them, while white linen curtains fold onto the dark floor and soften the silhouettes of the skyline beyond. The romantic feel of the bedroom is uninterrupted in the master bathroom, where the Jacuzzi is elevated against a dark backdrop, animated by the sensual lighting reflected in the mirrors and playful metallic mosaics of the shower wall.

Three additional bedrooms line the southern periphery of the residence with views onto the beautiful Mouawad Museum, a former heritage palace. The quality of light is exceptional as it filters through the sheer curtains of the rooms onto their dark hardwood floors, while their bathrooms utilize the same intricate play of light versus dark through the use of two different selections of tiles each time.

Most of the furniture items in the penthouse have been custom-made by the architect to complement the spaces. These range from the upholstered backless sofas floating throughout the main space, designed to encourage an airy and relaxed atmosphere, to the suspended perforated steel lighting fixtures which animate the dining room, and the seemingly floating beds of the sensual bedrooms.

January 1, 2013