A view of SC Villa, which sits on a cliff-top overlooking the city of Akoura. Photography Iwan Baan
Photography by: Iwan Baan

A monolithic rock structure emerges from the mountains above the Lebanese city of Akoura. Clad in local stone mounted on concrete walls, SC Villa is an exercise in site-responsive architecture by YTAA Youssef Tohme Architects & Associates.

Only the facade of the cliff-top villa overlooking the city is left open. Inside the house, the internal courtyard frames the surrounding mountain peaks, ‘erasing all visual connection with the ground’ and encouraging the inhabitants to look upwards.

‘The house was developed around the idea of a sounding board, as a volume that somehow enlarges space and sound,’ explains the practice, founded by Tohme in 2008 after a stint at Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris. Although inaudible from the exterior of the house, a babbling brook can be heard quite clearly in the courtyard.

Inside the building, the living spaces are open and cool, offering a modern take on the historic cavernous homes found elsewhere in the Lebanese mountains.

YTAA Youssef Tohme Architects & Associates

Based: Bierut
Established: 2008
Key projects:
Brazza Multiuse Development, Bordeaux
BLF Bank Disaster Center, Ghazir
Mare Museum for Modern and Contemporary Romanian Art, Bucharest



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