The goal of any holiday home is to create sanctuary, a place where time seems to stand still. Far from everyday stresses, obligations and constraints, a refuge is where recharging happens, and the concept of slow life makes sense. Located a three-hour drive from Cairo, along the Mediterranean coast, this house fulfils such requirements.
Husband-and-wife duo Ahmad Fayyad and Malak Rashad, who are the founders of Cairo-based architecture and interior design firm F&R Partnership, designed the property by echoing their minimalist aesthetic through every detail. “We are very inspired by [buildings] such as the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe, for its clean lines and fusion of materials, as well as the Neue Nationalgalerie by David Chipperfield Architects, for its openness and universality. Minimalism set the tone for the entire project,” they say. According to Fayyad and Rashad, luxury lies in simplicity – and this house perfectly illustrates this idea. Always focusing on the importance of proportions and the feeling of wellness, the duo has mastered the art of reflecting balance and harmony through its designs.
Organised across a single floor, the home exudes a natural sense of flow. Everything was crafted to be part of the whole, where floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and windows create an immediate and permanent connection between the interiors and the exteriors. “The biggest challenge was to try to integrate the indoor spaces and the outdoor areas as much as possible,” recalls Fayyad. On the floor, the architects chose Neocement to achieve a cohesive look throughout. “Most importantly, it reflects the natural light in the whole house,” Fayyad says.
For the overall palette, the architects took a slightly different route to their typical approach. “We usually use neutral tones and [let] the colourful accents come from the plants and landscape,” Fayyad explains, “[But] this time, we decided to opt for a green palette for the indoors.”
Several pieces of furniture, and decorative elements with this hue, reinforce the dialogue with the tropical vegetation outside that plays a key role in the design and identity of the home.
At the heart of the inspiration, Fayyad and Rashad look toward “the conventional Greek summer houses with white seamless floor and monochromatic tones.” Using these conjured images, they created a home that exudes a feeling of peace; an invitation to breathe and contemplate, to enjoy every minute and learn to observe and hear the sounds of nature.
Beyond an atmosphere, Fayyad and Rashad wanted to create a specific energy. “Our objective was to bring the natural light in as much as possible, and we decided to demolish all the unnecessary walls, for an open feel,” they say. “Moreover, the many plants that are clearly visible from the inside always give a fresh and natural liveliness to the house.” With its aura of tranquillity, this home feels like an oasis that is soothing and invigorating all at once.
Photography by Nour El Refai