Building on Shifting Sands Exhibition, NY
Located where the desert meets the Atlantic Ocean at the Northern most tip of Africa, the Villa is being built for His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The building is a sustainable, site-specific series of building components strategically placed within the spectacular seaside Moroccan landscape. The project is seen as a continuation of the strata of the site. The Atlas cedar tree serves as a symbol of immortality, purity and cleansing. The strength and structural logic of the tree is used as a catalyst for creating the natural forms of the reinforced concrete building. The branch-like structure is expressed as strands that become surfaces. The fragmented structure at the top of the building serves as an armature from which the skylight is supported. The structural filigree serves as a filter for the ever-changing Mosaics of light that are emblazoned throughout the interior surfaces of the main building. The patterning of light changes throughout the day and from season to season. The skin of the building explores various degrees of transparency and porosity. Notions of privacy and exposure are investigated. Apertures within the building envelope open allowing for natural ventilation. A layering of exterior surfaces helps necessitate an environmentally mindful building approach allowing for both heat and sun protection.