Terracotta Housing

This project attempts to tackle issues facing residential projects in the Middle East, and especially the Gulf region. Some of these issues include privacy, lighting, and sustainability, and they are growing ever more prevalent in tandem with our growing communities. I have found that many, if not the majority, of modern housing projects lack a vernacular sensibility of light and privacy. Whereas traditional houses had courtyards and mashrabiyas as a source of light within structures with little or no openings to the street, newer construction seems to have forgotten that and replaced it with a Western strategy of windows to the exterior. This project proposes a compromise: while there are many openings toward the exterior of the building, the structure is wrapped in a skin that acts as a veil of privacy and a filter of light. This screen is made of clay, or terracotta - a material, widely available in the region, which is a thermal insulator. The screen allows for private spaces that blur the transition between interior and exterior, while allowing the occupants to determine the amount of light, ventilation, and privacy they experience