J House
Wata el Mrouj, Lebanon

This house tells a story of psychological resilience and architectural defiance. The site’s original 1930s building once the current owner’s grandfather’s home - had been damaged by gunfire and shelling during military occupation. Instead of wiping away history, the ruins were gutted then reinforced and reused as a historic shell into which a brand-new home could be inserted - like a hermit crab. The new "resident" is a series of stacked spartan Cor-ten steel-clad boxes which nestle in the embrace of the house’s two remaining sections but also project beyond them. The Cor-ten skin changes colour with time and is punctured with dots echoing patterns of trees. Sunk into the landscape through terracing, the house is designed to blend with its surroundings. 

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Wata el Mrouj, Lebanon
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Associated Names
Completed 2013
2,863 m²
Variant Names
J House
Building Usages
private residence
Aga Khan Award for Architecture