Gemstones / by Karim Nader

The site is exceptional, a dramatic rock formation and a steep cliff loosely framed by two historical landmarks: the natural bridge to the east and spectacular roman temples to the west.

It is about rocks, and about carving those rocks… Carving as the natural process of erosion that creates the magnificent bridge, nature herself here at work. Then there is the man-made carving, the one that relentlessly transforms those stubborn rocks into stones for the construction of monumental temples, stone by stone, in reverence for some deity or in a tribute to Nature.

The project develops 10,600 sqm of residential program that is interspersed within a preserved rock park punctuated with suspended wooden decks, outdoor hot tubs and sculptural belvederes. Amongst this context, to propose an architecture, semi-organic, semi- geometric, a man-made work inspired by the forms of nature, as if inhabiting those rocks, designed for enjoying the view through their cracks and letting in peculiar sun-rays through their in betweens. And to then discover gems, like topazes, sapphire, amethyst or emerald, carefully tucked in between the chamfered stone volumes. The remaining of the landscape is transformed into an alpine forest of firs and Lebanese cedars, a green contrasting complement to the grey of the stones.

Project Status: Competition Entry.

Designed by Karim Nader and BLANKPAGE Architects.