Lantern House | Atelier Messaoudi Architects
Photo credits: Reda Ait Saada
Type of Project: Individual Housing
Location: Chlef, Algeria.
Architects: Atelier Messaoudi Architects
Project completion date: 2021
Photographer: Reda Ait Saada
The Lantern House is the result of the transformation of a house which's construction was almost finished and ready to be occupied. As the client wasn’t quite satisfied by the initial design, which didn’t bring an answer to all his needs, he consulted Atelier Messaoudi Architects for advice.
Looking through the initial project, we noticed that there were numerous issues in the functioning of the house and its relationship with its environment. Based on the program established by the client, we completely redesigned the entire house on all levels in order to take the most advantage out of the building site.
To fit the needs of the client and ensure his and his family’s wellbeing, we have made several transformations on the house. The stairs have been repositioned to benefit from the northern façade. The garden has been raised to create an access right from the kitchen on the ground floor. We created an areaway to bring in natural light and ventilation to the basement.
The volumetry of the house has also been redesigned for both formal and functional purposes. The new external envelope is meant to fit local climate and environmental specificities. Therefore, we created a ventilated facade on the Southern side to assure good isolation as the weather conditions in the region can be hard.
For security and intimacy concerns, we created metallic floral moucharabiehs which offer protection and anticipate further transformation of the façade, as house owners usually add fences to their windows for security matters.
Other than its functional role, the moucharabieh dresses the house in a fine floral lace made of shadows throughout the day. At night time, when all lights are lit, the house, just like a lantern, lights up the whole street and brings a particular atmosphere to the neighbourhood.
This project shows us how imporant design and conception are upstream, in order to avoid producing unadapted architecture. Today, as the client has realized this, he would like us to design customized furniture for his house so that it would perfectly fit its architecture, thus pushing the design process further, always.