Anarchitect applied modernist principles and contemporary sensibilities to this expansive Dubai Hills address. Founder and principal architect, Jonathan Ashmore led an entire reconfiguration of the existing developer shell to establish a space that harmonised with family members' individual passions for fashion, art, motorsports and upscale social gatherings. Clean architectural lines, a natural material palette, refined detailing and a flow of natural light characterise the interior. Jonathan offers us a tour of this notable address.
Editor's note: This interior design & architecture project was in collaboration with the LUXHABITAT design team. The LUXHABITAT design team was in charge of the interior design, FF&E project and procurement & Anarchitect fulfilled the interior architecture scope of the project.
Jonathan: This Dubai Hills Villa was a developer shell and core structure of 3000m2 overlooking the eighteenth hole of the highly regarded golf course with a spectacular backdrop of Dubai’s signature skyline, purchased by a private client from Europe through LUXHABITAT. LUXHABITAT started to lead the design process and then reached out to Anarchitect on behalf of the client by following their request to architecturally transform the existing shell they had purchased into a new, permanent home for the successful young family to relocate and set up a new life in Dubai.
Jonathan: The practice was appointed to re-plan and design a residence in which the family could grow, manage their busy lives and express individual passions for fashion, art, motorsports and upscale social gatherings. The brief was to create an understated, contemporary home, rich in materiality and refined in detail with clean architectural lines and proportions that would transform the predetermined shell.
Jonathan: Our first steps were to transform the layout of the shell with a new architectural intervention into the over-sized central courtyard space that created a new gallery entrance, better connecting the front and rear of the property and an adjacent intimate gravel-courtyard for contemplative and quiet exterior moments.
Jonathan: On the first floor we re-worked the prescribed plan to increase the private dressing areas for the master suite. For the children’s area, we connected the two-bedroom suites with a communal homework area and pantry that then opens up into a TV room, playroom and snug for the children to enjoy with their friends. Superbly crafted private gym and wellness space, his and her office, cinema and staff quarters were all seamlessly integrated into existing floor plan layouts. Anarchitect led the full design with a curated and collaborative team of expert consultants as well as working closely with LUXHABITAT to create this now award-winning villa.
Jonathan: The shell of the main 3,000m2 structure was dense with framed openings below projecting roof overhangs and loggias. With this inherent ‘mass’ from the existing structure, we approached the property's interior architecture as monolithic and modern with large format natural stone interior wall and floor finishes to balance the large floor-to-ceiling heights (4.5m) and to regulate and keep cool the ambient internal temperatures. Intricate natural wood joinery and cabinetry soften the mass of the stone and offer calmness and add subtle warmer tones and natural grain to each room. Metal and crystal-clear glass elements added to the materiality throughout the villa bring precision to the final touches. Dubai Hills Villa is an understated private luxury family home absent of any one particular style or aesthetic, the design language has been derived through the process to create a home for the young, successful family and their aesthete tastes.
Jonathan: Given the large scale of the property, one specific element that helped to humanise the volumes, heights and distances was beautifully integrated and discrete lighting where the effect was visible, and the technical fittings were purposefully hidden. The programming of the artificial light was also gradual and given a prolonged transition between day to night to create a more natural, calming effect as the sun sets rather than an abrupt contrast that would disrupt the natural circadian rhythms.
Photography by: Ieva Saudargaite