Based on a found program for an ambassadorial residence, there are actually three houses here: the representational rooms, the family’s private spaces, and the service quarters. This tangle of occupation has been resolved pragmatically with careful zoning to allow the greater part of the investigation to focus on architectural character and style. A generic location on the Arabian Peninsula was assumed so the design could be replicated on multiple secure sites. This set up three possible stylistic directions: projection of Western architectural themes, acknowledgement of the host region’s conventions, and claiming Neo-Modernism as a literal International Style. Here, these directions converge.
The initial move is typological: an introspective Middle Eastern house diagram is cross cut with linear strips (a contemporary shorthand for site engagement). The resulting plan-form combines a central court with an open/closed rhythm that organizes major, minor, and service zones. Upon entry, the residence is compressed and episodic, but it gradually takes on the scale and symmetry of a Federal-era public building, with a formal stair hall and twin ceremonial rooms behind columned porticos. The second floor family rooms are laid out per upper-middle-class American conventions, except for an overscaled viewing porch that links residence and institution, home and away.
The compound’s exterior spaces are organized by a cloister bracketing the residence and its front and back “yards.” The secure area outside this zone varies per site, and would be filled with a grid of ornamental trees. All structures are board-formed cast-in-place concrete with engineered wood louvers. The long-span radial sunbreaks are self-supporting cable-ring assemblies.